PFOA, PFOS, PFAS Update
Mar. 10 2022
• Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) were developed by in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Soon the chemicals were used to develop products with non-stick and stain resistant properties. These PFAS based chemicals were also widely used in other applications from fire-fighting foams to outdoor fabric treatments. In the late 1970’s these chemicals were determined to be hazardous to human health and high doses were linked to reproductive, carcinogenic and other issues in mammals.
• PFOA and PFOS belong to the chemical family known as Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFOA and PFOS are 8 carbon “versions” that are prevalently used in consumer and commercial products due to their longevity. These 8 carbon versions are sometimes referred to as the long chain PFAC’s and are frequently listed under the EPA regulated compounds. However, many other ‘versions” of PFAS compounds (estimated in the thousands) are currently in use and serve as common replacements for PFOA and PFOS.
• PFAS are quite stable and known as “persistent” in the environment as they do not readily break down and thereby are able to remain in soils and water and can bio-accumulate in animals. Detectable levels of PFAS are present in over 95% of the adult US population.
Typical Products Impacted:
Outerwear, Textiles, Cookware, Food Packaging, Furniture, Rugs, Carpets, Electrical Products (cords), Outdoor Textiles and associated products, Packaging, Adhesives, microchips, cosmetics etc. Most often applied as a finish coating spray application.
Stain Resistant/ Repellent/ Proof, Oil Resistant/ Repellent/ Proof, Water Resistant/ Repellent/ Proof, Heat Resistant, Non-Stick Coating, and associated claims.
Federal Regulation Summary:
• The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised and reverted to July 2020 Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) which continues to be in effect.
o Articles containing certain long-chain PFAS as a surface coating cannot be imported into the United States without EPA review.
o Importers of articles, but not processors of articles are subject to the SNUR.
o EPA intended the SNUR to capture the majority of article applications of these chemical substances.
- Accordingly, EPA considers any LCPFAC (from 40 CFR 721.10536 Table 1 and Table 2) containing coating on
any surface of any article, whether the coating is applied to the interior facing surface or the exterior surface of
an article or has been cured or undergone a chemical reaction, to be covered by the SNUR.
States Regulations Summary:
• The EPA is focusing on Long Chain PFAC’s, individual States are looking at PFAS (or the entire family).
• The State laws (both enacted and proposed) also look at Intentionally Added PFAS chemicals.
Enacted State Laws Summary (as of March 4, 2022)
|New York||No intentionally added PFAS in any amount||Effective December 31, 2022|
|Vermont||Prohibited||Effective July 1, 2023|
|Washington||No intentionally added in any amount, if safer alternatives to PFAS in food packaging are identified (4 types are banned)||Effective February 2023|
|Connecticut||Prohibited||Effective December 31, 2023|
|Maine||Prohibits food packaging to which PFAS have been intentionally introduced||Effective January 1, 2022|
|Minnesota||No intentionally added PFAS||Effective January 1, 2024|
|California||100 parts per million total organic fluorine||Effective January 1, 2023|
|Maine||Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC) PFOS and its salts||Effective July 28, 2020|
Carpets and Rugs:
|California||- PFAS Priority Product
- Manufacturers submit notification
|- Effective July 1, 2021
- December 28, 2021
|Maine||Report intentionally added PFAS. Prohibits the sale of residential carpets or rugs, as well as the sale of fabric treatments, that contain intentionally added PFAS.||- Effective 2023
- Effective 2030: all products will be in scope
|Vermont||PFAS prohibited||Effective July 1, 2023|
|Vermont||- Aftermarket stain and water-resistant treatments for rugs or carpets
- Ski wax
- Children’s products
- Aftermarket stain and water-resistant treatments for rugs or carpets, and Ski wax
- PFHxS, PFHpA, PFNA in children's products: Designated as CHCC (Chem disclosure program)
|- Prohibited as of July 1, 2023
- (Chemical disclosure program) as of July 1, 2022
|California||Juvenile products||100 parts per million total organic fluorine||Effective July 1, 2023|
|California||Cookware (Chemical Disclosures)||Labeling Requirements||Effective January 1, 2023 and
January 1, 2024
|New York||Children’s products||Reporting||Effective December 31, 2022|
|Oregon||Children’s products||Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC) reporting|
|Washington||Children’s products||Chemicals of High Concern to Children (CHCC) reporting|
|California||Cosmetics||No more than trace of PFOA, PFOS, and PFAS (and their salts)||Effective January 1, 2025|
|Maryland||Cosmetics||Prohibits PFOS, PFOA, and PFAS and their salts||Effective January 1, 2025|
Proposed State Laws:
Many states have put forth new proposed legislation, for many product types. Following is a listing of a few the proposals at this time:
• Cookware: Massachusetts proposal: Total fluorine at a level greater than 1 ppm
• Carpets and rugs: Massachusetts proposal: Limit of total fluorine (PFAS substances) of 1 ppm
• Wearing Apparel: New York proposal: prohibition of the use of PFAS substances in common apparel.
• Accessories: Minnesota proposal: Prohibit items worn on the human body, including footwear; handbags, backpacks, scarves, and other accessories; and clothing that contains PFAS.
• All Textile Products: California proposal: Prohibit any textile articles that contain regulated PFAS, and require a manufacturer to use the least toxic alternative when replacing regulated PFAS.
• Personal Care and Feminine Hygiene Products: New York proposal: No intentionally added PFAS.
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