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US EPA New Regulation: Strengthening Control of Permanent Chemicals PFAS


Time:

2023-11-10

US EPA New Regulation: Strengthening Control of Permanent Chemicals PFAS

On September 28, 2023, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an important new regulation requiring manufacturers of perfluorinated and polyfluoroalkane based compounds (PFAS) to provide more information for better regulation.

 

Perfluorinated and polyfluoroalkane based compounds (PFAS) are a large class of organic fluorides with very stable chemical properties, which have advantages such as waterproof, anti fouling, and good insulation properties. They are particularly widely used in industrial manufacturing fields such as food packaging, electronic appliances, leather and clothing, construction and household products, fire protection and medical supplies. However, PFAS has persistence and mobility, making it difficult to degrade in the environment, and is also known as a "permanent chemical", posing a serious threat to human health and the ecological environment.

 

According to the new regulations, personnel who have manufactured (including imported) PFAS or products containing PFAS substances since January 1, 2011 must report various information related to PFAS to the EPA, including usage, production capacity, disposal, exposure, and hazards. However, some substances such as PFAS used for pesticides, food, food additives, drugs, cosmetics, or medical devices will be exempt from this notification requirement. This rule will take effect on November 13, 2023.

 

 

According to EPA's 40 CFR Part 705, PFAS is defined as follows:

(1) R - (CF2) - CF (R ′) R ″, where both CF2 and CF are saturated carbon atoms

(2) R-CF2OCF2-R ', where R and R' can be F, O, or saturated carbon atoms

(3) CF3C (CF3) R'R ", where R 'and R" can be F or saturated carbon atoms

 

The US Environmental Protection Agency has determined that since 2011, at least 1462 PFAS are known to be manufactured or used in the United States and will be subject to final rules to better obtain important data required by the agency to protect human health and the environment from the effects of these chemicals.

 

According to regulations, companies that have manufactured (including imported) PFAS since 2011 must provide information to the EPA within 18 months after the final rule takes effect. For small businesses that only report imported products containing PFAS substances, they must provide information within 24 months after the final rule takes effect. Enterprises that do not comply with the rules will face civil penalties.

 

In addition, on October 20, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized rules to provide more detailed PFAS reports in the Toxics Release Inventory.

 

By canceling an exemption, the reporting of PFAS on the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) has been improved to more comprehensively monitor these permanent chemicals. This regulation cancels the right of factories to avoid reporting relevant information when using low concentration PFAS, as PFAS is typically used in various products at low concentrations. Through this change, EPA will gain more

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