EPA Takes Action to Stop Use of Certain PFAS in Products and Protect American Consumers
WASHINGTON (June 22, 2020) — Today, as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan, EPA is issuing a final rule giving the agency the authority to review an expansive list of products containing PFAS before they could be manufactured, sold, or imported in the United States. This action, issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), means that EPA is prohibiting companies from manufacturing, processing, or importing products containing certain long-chain PFAS, which persist in the environment and can cause adverse health effects, without prior EPA review and approval. As part of the agency’s review, EPA could place restrictions on these products to protect public health.
“As EPA marks the 4th anniversary of amendments to TSCA, this new rule gives the Trump administration a powerful new tool to protect public health,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The regulation can stop products containing PFAS from entering or reentering the marketplace without our explicit permission. EPA is committed to aggressively addressing these chemicals of concern under the PFAS Action Plan.”
This final rule strengthens the regulation of PFAS by requiring notice and EPA review before the use of long-chain PFAS that have been phased out in the U.S. could begin again. Additionally, products containing certain long-chain PFAS as a surface coating and carpet containing perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances can no longer be imported into the United States without EPA review.
Today’s action means that products like ski wax, carpet, furniture, electronics, and household appliances that could contain certain PFAS chemicals cannot be manufactured, imported, produced, or sold in the U.S. unless EPA reviews and approves the use or puts in place the necessary restrictions to address any unreasonable risks.
This action also levels the playing field for companies that have already voluntarily phased-out the use of long-chain PFAS chemicals under EPA’s PFOA Stewardship Program by preventing new uses of these phased-out chemicals from starting up again. Before this action, the use of these PFAS could have started again at any time without EPA’s approval.