Analysis of federal lobbying documents by Food and Water Watch finds industry targeted dozens of pieces of legislation.

The Australian Furniture Association understands that US chemical industry likely spent over $110m during the last two election cycles deploying lobbyists to kill dozens of pieces of PFAS legislation and slow administrative regulation around “forever chemicals”, a new analysis of federal lobbying documents has found.

The industry’s aggressive push proved successful, with only eight pieces of PFAS-targeted legislation passing through Congress, as detailed in the report by the nonprofit Food and Water Watch (FWW).

Amanda Starbuck, FWW’s research director and lead author of the report, highlighted the significant financial resources opposing PFAS legislation. “There’s an immense amount of funding dedicated to fighting against it,” she explained. “It becomes challenging to succeed in these battles when there’s such substantial opposition funding.”

PFAS, a group of approximately 14,000 compounds used for water, stain, and heat resistance in products, earned the moniker “forever chemicals” due to their resistance to natural breakdown. They’ve been associated with cancer, high cholesterol, liver and kidney diseases, fetal complications, and other severe health issues.

Over the last decade, as the dangers of PFAS became more evident, pressure mounted on lawmakers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and administrative bodies to curb their usage and address pollution. In response, the report highlighted a considerable surge in spending by chemical manufacturers.

“The chemical and associated industries are powerful and have used their army of lobbyists and campaign finance war chests to thwart meaningful action,” the paper states.

The report delved into lobbying activities by eight major producers, including 3M, Chemours, and Honeywell. Across the 2019-2022 election cycles, Congress witnessed the introduction of over 130 PFAS-related bills. However, only two standalone bills passed, while PFAS provisions found their way into broader legislations like the National Defense Authorization Act.

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Courtesy of The Guardian