The issue of toxic PFAS is one that many people are unaware of. So here’s a brief overview:
PFAS stands for Per- and Fluoryl Alkyl Substances. These are a group of over 9,000 man made chemicals that are found in clothing, food packaging, drinking water, cookware, and so many things that we interact with everyday. These chemicals have been linked to cancer and many other chronic diseases, making constant exposure to them a major public health concern.
Our public health campaign’s main focus this semester was to push to pass the George Walter Taylor Act. This bill focuses on banning PFAS in fire fighting foam, and to restrict the use and disposal of these chemicals.
We were successful! The George Walter Taylor act was passed unanimously in the Maryland General Assembly’s House and Senate!
What did we do to get here?
Throughout the semester our main focus was to reach out to legislators while educating and gathering youth support. A few of the initiatives we led include social media infographic events, emailing legislators, getting student photo testimonials, and doing tabling events. Through each of these events, we were able to increase awareness about the issue and also gain evidence of youth support so that when speaking to legislators we could emphasize the importance of tackling toxic PFAS.
These methods allowed our campaign to effectively gather enough support to successfully encourage our legislators to take action. This is just the beginning of action towards banning PFAS, and there is a lot more that still needs to be done, however this is a great first step!