RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Saturday, volunteers and local organizations met at Nash Square in downtown Raleigh calling on state lawmakers to eliminate PFAS from our food packaging.

The so-called “forever chemicals” have been linked to serious health problems, according to the EPA.

“They’re basically ingesting all of the associated chemicals that are in the wrapping,” said college student, Christian Chung.

So far, 18 major food companies like Wendy’s and Chipotle have announced they’ll stop using packaging with the chemicals, but people in Raleigh Saturday wanted lawmakers to go a step further.

“Our goal right now is to educate the public and make it clear to Senator Burr and Senator Tillis that this is an issue that North Carolinians care about and they really need to act on it,” said Sarah Hunkins, a field agent for Toxic Free Future.

The request comes as President Biden’s infrastructure plan passes with billions of dollars allocated to clean up Americans’ drinking water. EPA administrator Michael Regan says it’s the largest federal investment ever made in the history of water infrastructure.

“Eliminate 6 to 10 million lead pipes that are still plugging into our homes,” said Regan.

The Environmental Working Group organization estimates PFAS are contaminating the drinking water of more than 200 million Americans. Environmental activists on the ground say more work needs to be done to educate people.

“When we’re out petitioning I’d say about 90 percent of the people that we talk to have never even heard of PFAS. It’s not just about food packaging but it’s about issues across the board everyday products that exist that still have PFAS in them we need to ban them not just regulate them,” said Hunkins.

In 2019, Senators Tillis and Burr, both Republicans, were on a bipartisan bill known as the “PFAS Accountability Act.”

The bill aimed to hold federal agencies accountable for addressing PFAS on military bases across the country. Senator Tillis co-sponsored the bill.