On March 16, 2021, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) reported on a letter sent by a group of 67 US scientists with leading expertise in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) recommending the new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator implement a class-based ban on all PFAS except essential uses.
PFAS are very persistent, ubiquitous substances linked to adverse human and environmental health effects. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is described as having identified over 9000 PFAS compounds, which if regulated individually would be time and resource-consuming. Regulating PFAS as a single class, according to the scientists led by Linda Birnbaum, “would provide an orderly and expeditious process for phasing out all but essential PFAS uses, greatly reducing future exposure.“ The same approach has been proposed already in February 2021, by the Californian Department of Toxic Substances Control under the Safer Consumer Products Framework (FPF reported). The authors also recommend to Regan that the agency should use its testing authority under TSCA to require toxicity testing of the many PFAS that are widely present in the environment and people.
In addition, six health and environmental justice organizations wrote a separate letter to EPA Administrator Regan in which they requested granting a previously rejected petition under TSCA from October 2020 that would require “the 54 PFAS chemicals produced by Chemours to be tested for adverse health and environmental effects that have been linked to well-studied [PFAS] class members.”
Alexis Luckey, Executive Director of Toxic Free North Carolina stated: “We are hopeful that Administrator Regan, who knows North Carolina’s plight to address PFAS all too well, will recognize EPA’s duty to act.”
Julia John (April 28, 2021). “US EPA alumni recommend class-based approach to study, regulate PFASs.” Chemical Watch
Michelle Roos (April 26, 2021). “PFAS Action Plan Recommendations from EPN.” Environmental Protection Network
Kathryn Alcantar (March 19, 2021). “Scientists and North Carolina Co-Petitioners Implore EPA’s Regan to Act on PFAS.” CEH
Linda Birnbaum, et al. (July 30, 2021). “EPA must protect public health by regulating PFAS as a class.” The Hill