PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), the toxic “forever chemicals” found in nonstick pans, firefighting foams, plastics, and among other products, are facing new and emerging restrictions in the United States and European Union.
Now understood to weaken children’s immune systems, cause cancer, lead to low birth weight, and other adverse health outcomes, PFAS are expected to receive restriction levels from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water. This follows the listing of 189 different PFAS on the Toxic Release Inventory under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). More PFAS are expected to be added to the TRI annually and will result in enhanced reporting of PFAS manufacturing, processing, or usage.
In the European Union, PFCAs (Long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids, their salts and related compounds), a subset of PFAS, have been added to the REACH Restricted list and will face restrictions for the EU market as of February 25th. Furthermore, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has released its proposal to restrict approximately 10,000 different PFAS substances. ECHA’s Scientific Committees are currently reviewing the proposal and will evaluate it based upon risks to people, the environment, and any impacts upon society.
Corporations have already started to take note of the impending rules and regulations on PFAS. The multinational conglomerate 3M has announced a commitment to exit PFAS manufacturing and work to discontinue use of PFAS across its product portfolio by the end of 2025. A letter to the CEOs of chemical manufacturing companies from investors featuring Aviva Investors, AXA IM, Credit Suisse Asset Management AG, Robeco, and Storebrand Asset Management, seeks to inspire the phase out and substitution of PFAS. The letter also cites financial risks from potential legislation and the increased costs associated with reformulation and modification processes.
Legislation at a state and local level has already been passed in certain areas of the US. In Maine, retailers may not sell products prohibited from sale in Maine. As of January 1, these include fabric treatments, carpets, and rugs. As of January 2030, retailers may not sell any products with intentionally added PFAS. Maryland will begin banning the use, sale, or distribution of certain products with the intentional addition of PFAS. Wisconsin has introduced new drinking water standards for PFAS. Other states with current restrictions or bills introduced restricting the use of PFAS include Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
QPoint’s Green Data Exchange (GDX) offers a solution to PFAS compliance requirements, and any other material content requirements. With a wealth of data already available to users, including full material disclosures, GDX users can evaluate their products to any regulation, including new PFAS requirements and custom enquiries into PFAS usage. Leverage the data by assessing against a custom list of substances and custom thresholds. Surface PFAS usage early and stay ahead of regulations and customer requests. Learn more at our website, qpointtech.com.