The New York state legislature has passed a bill (S.1322/A.994) to modify previous legislation that largely bans per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) in clothing and apparel by 2025 that was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in the final hours of 2022.
In agreeing to the ban, Governor Hochul called upon the legislature to amend the law to provide clarity on several specifics, including the scope of products covered, timing and enforcement mechanisms.
Accordingly, the amended legislation expands the scope of the ban to capture the use of intentionally added PFAS in a broader range of apparel, including clothing items intended for “regular wear or formal occasions including, but not limited to, undergarments, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, overalls, bodysuits, vests, dancewear, suits, saris, scarves, tops, leggings, leisurewear, formal wear,” outdoor apparel and children’s clothes, including onesies, bibs and diapers. Previously, outdoor apparel and outerwear had been exempt.
Notably, the bill does not include professional uniforms worn to protect the wearer from health or environmental hazards. However, PFAS would be banned in high-performance outerwear for severe wet conditions starting in 2028.
The new bill also adds penalties and creates timelines for banning the use of PFAS in most clothing. In terms of penalties, the bill requires the state Department of Environmental Conservation to set a threshold for PFAS, including unintentionally added chemicals, which would take effect by 2027. Initial violations would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 a day, and continued violations would be subject to a penalty of up to $2,500 per day.