National companies have conceded that they use of dozens of different so-called forever chemicals in a thousand consumer products sold in Maine, from swimsuits to cameras to eyeshadow, according to Defend Our Health, a Portland-based environmental watchdog group.

From shampoo to school supplies, dog treats to dishware, the brand names that admit to using forever chemicals are ubiquitous: Mizuno swimsuits, Kinco gloves, Anna Sui cosmetics, Liquid Wrench, Olympus cameras, Duracell batteries, DuPont insulation, Veolia water filters.

Defend Our Health cites these incomplete results as proof that Maine’s PFAS reporting law will work.

“Industry reporting has begun to identify brand-name products containing ‘forever chemicals’ that could expose you and your family in your home, or be washed down the drain or tossed in the trash, harming our health and the environment,” said Sarah Woodbury, vice president of programs and policy for Defend Our Health.

Defend Our Health based its findings on the first wave of PFAS reports supplied to the state by 41 companies after Maine adopted its first-in-the-nation reporting law. The department has yet to release the 19 other PFAS records.

The 41 companies who admitted to the department that they sell products that contain forever chemicals ranged in size and profitability, from 10 employees with $5 million in annual revenue to 233,000 employees with $62 billion in annual revenue, Defend Our Health said.


Each company must provide a product name and description, and a PFAS name, purpose and amount. For example, B’Laster Holdings of Ohio submitted records for six sizes of TiteSeal emergency flat repair sprays, which contain increasing amounts of tire-inflating tetrafluoropropene.

But the sample only represents a fraction of the market. The Department of Environmental Protection handed out at least 2,500 extensions to companies that complained they didn’t have enough time to meet the law’s initial 2023 deadline. Lawmakers eventually agreed to delay implementation until 2025.

While companies may have extra time to report PFAS in their products, the delay did not change the implementation date of the actual PFAS ban. Under Maine law, PFAS must be stripped from all products sold here after 2030 unless the use is deemed unavoidable.

A manufacturer of a product that contains forever chemicals who failed to report would be required to file a written certificate of compliance or exemption. If independent testing demonstrated a violation, the Department of Environmental Protection could issue a letter of warning, levy a fine of up to $10,000 a day and issue a ban on in-state sales.

Several companies that responded before the 2023 reporting deadline was extended told the department that they already were looking for alternatives that would allow them to rid their products of PFAS, Defend Our Health founder Michael Belliveau said.



“Reporting PFAS use is an essential first step to replacing these unnecessary and dangerous chemicals with safer alternatives,” Belliveau said. “Public reporting of PFAS use in specific products is already spurring manufacturers, policymakers, and consumers to switch to safer substitutes.”

Seven companies told the Department of Environmental Protection that they will try to reformulate their products to remove the PFAS ingredient they reported, including personal care companies Rogue, IGK and Dose of Colors, dog treat maker Heartland Farms, sealant maker Rock Doctor, IFS Coatings and Kinco.

“We are notifying you that we are reformulating this product in order to remove the mentioned ingredient from the formula,” IGK regulator manager Daniela Sanchez wrote in reference to Extra Love Volume & Thickening Shampoo.

The shampoo produced by the Miami-based company contains 0.0002% of a relatively unstudied forever chemical, polyperfluoroethoxymethoxy difluoroethyl PEG Phosphate. But environmental groups still consider it to be a cancer risk because it is in the PFAS family.

Perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances are called forever chemicals because they take so long to break down and can linger in the environment for decades. Even trace amounts have been linked to compromised immune systems, low birth weights and several types of cancer.

Maine is on the front lines of PFAS legislation. Last year, after a string of farms connected to the state’s decades-old sludge spreading program shut down because of PFAS contamination, Maine became the first state to ban sludge recycling and PFAS in nonessential products.

To date, Maine has identified 56 PFAS-contaminated farms.

Over the past two years, Maine has dedicated more than $100 million to address PFAS.

Maine is developing new even stricter drinking water standards than it already had passed and a broad range of safety standards intended to protect the public food system and determine when local farmers trying to recover from a PFAS crisis can safely return to the market.

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