Two Federal Government Agencies Seek Information on PFAS
In addition to PFAS-related laws that a number of states have enacted over the past several years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) have announced separate efforts to gather data to help them better understand the use and presence of PFAS chemicals in the United States:
- EPA: EPA has issued a final rule which requires a wide range of companies to report extensive data regarding PFAS production and imports. This rule applies to any person that has manufactured (including imported) PFAS chemicals or has imported PFAS-containing articles on or after January 1, 2011. ISPA thinks PFAS-containing articles could be interpreted to include imports of finished mattresses or mattress materials that contain PFAS. Companies that have only processed, distributed in commerce, used and/or disposed of PFAS are not required to report under EPA’s new regulation.
Subject entities must electronically report information regarding PFAS uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures and hazards. The regulation takes effect November 13, 2023, and most covered entities have 18 months after the effective date to report PFAS data to the EPA. Small importers of PFAS articles have 24 months to report their data to EPA.
Reporting data on activity that occurred up to 10 years ago or more will in some cases be challenging, if not impossible. Nevertheless, EPA expects subject companies to report PFAS information that is “known to or reasonably ascertainable” by them.
ISPA urges members that may have produced or imported PFAS or imported PFAS-containing articles since January 1, 2011, to consult with legal counsel to understand their full responsibilities under this new EPA regulation.
- CPSC: The CPSC has published a request for information on the use of PFAS in consumer products, along with potential exposure and health risk data relating to PFAS. Unlike the EPA rule, submitting information to the CPSC in response to this request for information is voluntary. The public comment period ends on November 20th, 2023. ISPA is evaluating whether to provide input in response to the CPSC’s request.
On a related note, the CPSC has released a white paper prepared for it by RTI International titled “Characterizing PFAS Chemistries, Sources, Uses, and Regulatory Trends in U.S. and International Markets.” Among other things, the white paper provides information on the uses of PFAS in consumer products, PFAS market and regulatory trends and potential routes for human exposure to PFAS.