Whitmer orders alternatives to products with toxic chemicals

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FILE – In this Aug. 16, 2021, file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference in Detroit. On Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, Whitmer ordered state officials to buy fewer products containing toxic compounds used widely despite being associated with serious illnesses. (Nic Antaya/Detroit News via AP, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is ordering state officials to buy fewer products containing toxic compounds that are used widely, despite being associated with serious illnesses.

The Democratic governor wants purchasers to seek alternatives to goods made with chemicals known as PFAS. They’re used in nonstick frying pans, water-repellent sports gear, stain-resistant rugs and countless other products.

They’re called “forever chemicals” because they degrade slowly, if at all. PFAS have been associated with health problems including cancer and reduced birth weight.

The Michigan Chemistry Council says PFAS chemicals are not identical and shouldn’t be treated the same.

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