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What Does the New PFAS Resolution in Newton Mean for the City?

February 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Thursday, February 29 from 7-8:30pm. Newton Free Library, Druker Auditorium (330 Homer Street, Newton).

LWVN – together with its cosponsors Better Action Now on Artificial Turf in Newton, Green Newton, and Mothers Out Front Newton – will hold a presentation and Q & A session on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of man-made chemical compounds known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down easily in the environment. All are welcome.

Panelists include:

  • Halina Brown, past Professor of Toxicology at Clark University, and past Chair of the Newton Energy Commission
  • Deirdre Cummings, MassPIRG Legislative Director
  • Wendy Heiger-Bernays, Boston University Professor of Environmental Health
  • Katharine Lange, Policy Director, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance

On February 5, 2024, the Newton City Council unanimously passed a resolution requiring the city to avoid the purchase or use of products containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, called PFAS or “forever chemicals.” This marks the first city resolution against purchasing products with PFAS in Massachusetts, following the first town resolution passed in Brookline in 2023.

See the Newton City Council Resolution.

See the Sierra Club Massachusetts Press Release.

LWVMA has made support of H.2197 /S.1356, An Act to Protect Massachusetts Public Health from PFAS, one of its legislative action priorities for this year. (See the Information Packet from the 2023 Day on the Hill.) This bill broadly implements the recommendations of the April 2022 PFAS Interagency Task Force report. PFAS are the single biggest toxic chemical threat we face as a nation and they are ubiquitous. Everything that is water- or stain-resistant or repellent uses them. They are in lipstick, toilet paper and artificial turf, to name only a few. The most important part of the bill is that it “turns off the tap” of toxic PFAS by phasing in the banning of their use in almost all products. These chemicals have been determined to cause testicular cancer and are associated with many other health problems by interfering with the immune and endocrine systems.

Read here for more information on PFAs from the Environmental Protection Agency.