Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
To: State Department Directors and Autonomous Agency Heads
From: Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Date: October 27, 2021
Re: Reducing State Purchases of Products Containing Intentionally Added PFAS
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of chemicals that have been used globally in manufacturing, firefighting, and thousands of common household and other consumer products since the 1940s. PFAS are stable chemicals, breaking down slowly in the environment, such that they accumulate over time, and they also are highly soluble, easily transferring through soil to groundwater. As a result, they are persistent in the environment and in the human body.
While research is ongoing, there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects. People can be exposed to PFAS in a variety of ways, including through the water they drink or the foods they eat, working at locations where PFAS are produced or used in manufacturing, or when PFAS are released during normal use, biodegradation, or disposal of consumer products containing PFAS.
To address the threat posed by PFAS contamination, protect public health, and ensure the safety of Michigan's land, air, and water, I issued Executive Order (EO) 2019-3 on February 4, 2019. EO 2019-3 made the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) an established, enduring body and directed MPART to increase citizen engagement, transparency, and accountability in the ongoing state efforts to identify PFAS contamination and protect public health. Michigan's proactive and transparent approach to PFAS contamination is widely recognized as a national model for action on PFAS. To date, no state or federal agency has done more to address PFAS contamination, hold responsible parties accountable, and educate the public about this class of chemicals. While the State of Michigan has made significant progress in this regard, additional action remains necessary to protect from the wide-ranging effects of PFAS contamination.
In addition to reacting to PFAS contamination and its impact on the environment and human health, the State of Michigan should also seek to address this problem proactively through limiting the state's purchase of nonessential products that contain intentionally added PFAS. The State of Michigan should use its purchasing power - an estimated $2.5 billion annually - to incentivize suppliers to offer products that do not contain intentionally added PFAS by seeking to purchase such products where possible. Further, the purchase of products free of intentionally added PFAS will reduce the amount of PFAS contamination and human exposure. The health and welfare of the state's residents should drive purchasing decisions by the state.
Acting under sections 1 and 8 of Article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, I direct the following:
This directive is effective immediately.
Thank you for your cooperation in implementing this directive.