In an article published on September 11, 2018, by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Kelly Franklin informed about a hearing on the environmental and human health impacts of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) that was held at the subcommittee on Environment of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce committee on September 6, 2018. The hearing discussion focused on how to set “enforceable and sufficiently protective drinking water standards” and also considered “restricting the substances’ manufacture and use . . . as a potential method for controlling their presence in the environment,” Franklin reported.

Eric Olson of the U.S. non-profit organization Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) testified at the hearing, calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban new uses of existing PFASs and to also ban all new PFASs. Exceptions to the ban should only be granted for national defense needs, emergencies, and other urgent needs if no alternatives exist. Further, Olson submitted a letter signed by 51 local, state, and national organizations urging to phase-out the use of PFASs.

The industry group American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued a statement regarding the hearing, asserting that the “PFAS currently manufactured have been well studied and undergone rigorous regulatory review.” The ACC further highlighted that “[t]hose chemistries play an essential role in many products we depend on in modern life” and pledged that “industry will continue to be a constructive partner to state and federal regulators and other stakeholders affected by this important issue.”

Meanwhile, due to lacking federal measures, U.S. states and cities have taken regulatory action to reduce PFASs contamination in the environment as well as? consumer exposure: Among others, the State of Washington and the City and County of San Francisco have adopted laws to ban PFASs in food packaging and single-use food service ware.

Read more

Kelly Franklin (September 11, 2018). “U.S. environmental groups lobby Congress for ban on new PFASs.Chemical Watch

Liz Hitchcock (September 7, 2018). “Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle show concern about PFAS water contamination crisis at hearing.Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families