New PFAS Regulations: How to Remain Compliant in 2023
PFAS substances have been used for decades in consumer and industrial products but, since the early 2000s, the substances have come under increasing scrutiny due to their toxicity to humans, animals, and the environment. Various laws, policies, and regulations have been implemented in the United States and Europe to restrict PFAS use and reduce exposure.
Several changes are expected to occur to PFAS regulations this year, most notably Maine’s newly implemented law, An Act to Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution. Continue reading to learn more about new PFAS regulations and how to remain compliant in 2023.
PFAS: Forever Chemicals
PFAS refers to a large group of chemicals used in consumer, commercial, and industrial products that repel water, grease, and dirt. The group currently includes thousands of chemicals, including the widely used Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS).
Introduced in the 1940s, PFAS chemicals are present in several everyday household products, including furniture, non-stick cookware, cosmetics, pesticides, and more. PFAS compounds break down exceptionally slowly, which means they are prone to accumulate in people, animals, and the environment over time. Because of this trait, PFAS substances are often referred to as “forever chemicals.”
Unfortunately, due to their widespread use, most people have been exposed to some PFAS during their lifetimes. This exposure poses significant risks to human health and the environment as PFAS collects in certain foods, drinking water, soil, and even the air.
U.S. PFAS Regulations
Maine’s legislature passed An Act to Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution in July 2021, broadening the definition of PFAS beyond the list of substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The new law instead refers to the EPA’s CompTox PFAS list with over 12,000 substances.
All manufacturers with products on the market (including importers and distributors) within the state of Maine are in the scope of the law unless they have been granted specific exclusions. Two provisions of the law are in effect as of January 1st, 2023:
- Manufacturers of products containing intentionally added PFAS must report on the use and amount of PFAS in their products. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is currently developing a database to collect PFAS reports, but reporting is required regardless.
- The selling of carpets, rugs, and fabric treatments containing potentially added PFAS is prohibited. This does not apply to the sale or resale of used carpets and rugs.
California Bill AB 1817 bans the selling, distributing, or offering for sale of any food packaging containing PFAS chemicals within the state as of January 1st, 2023. Beginning later in the year, on July 1st, 2023, the selling or distributing of any new products containing PFAS chemicals will be prohibited.
Looking ahead a few years, by January 1st, 2025, PFAS will be banned in most clothing and textiles on the market, and manufacturers will be required to utilize the least toxic alternative available.
TSCA PFAS Reporting
The EPA is expected to finalize the proposed Section 8(a)(7) to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) sometime in 2023. The proposal requires manufacturers and importers to report on their use of PFAS starting from the year 2011, including how PFAS was used in the product, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards. As part of this proposal, the EPA has identified over 1,300 PFAS that the rule would potentially cover.
EU PFAS Regulations
Five European Union states are expected to submit a proposal restricting all PFAS substances in early January 2023. Additionally, beginning in February 2023, certain Perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (C9-C14 PFCAs) will be restricted under EU REACH as part of the Annex XVII Restricted List. The EU is also proposing restricting all PFAS utilized in firefighting foams.
Preparing for Changes to PFAS Regulations in 2023
In our recent webinar, a few of our subject matter experts discussed the primary regulatory changes impacting product compliance in 2023, including changes to PFAS regulations. Watch the webinar on-demand to gain additional information on new PFAS regulations and learn how to best prepare for these changes to ensure your business remains compliant.
Meet PFAS Reporting Requirements with Source Intelligence
PFAS compliance isn’t simple. Managing supplier engagement and data validation while staying current with changing PFAS laws and reporting requirements requires a team with dedicated resources and a depth of industry knowledge—and companies lacking those resources are exposed to uncertainty and risk within their supply chain.
When you partner with Source Intelligence, we help you meet PFAS reporting requirements and stay updated on changing regulations so you remain compliant. Whether you need software to manage PFAS reporting internally, access to an industry-leading database to validate supplier data, or expert services to manage the process for you, our PFAS program is more than a one-fits-all solution.
Learn more about PFAS and explore the features and benefits of the Source Intelligence PFAS program by selecting the button below.