As reported by civil society organization Safer Chemicals Healthy Families on July 2, 2020, the US House Armed Services Committee voted to approve amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will require the country’s military to follow a set of new rules on managing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The bill specifically would block the military’s procurement of any product containing PFAS for seven product categories: (i) non-stick cookware or food service ware for use in galleys or dining facilities, (ii) food packaging materials, (iii) furniture or floor waxes, (iv) carpeting, rugs or upholstered furniture, (v) personal care items, (vi) dental floss, and (vii) sunscreen. A similar version of the bill is also under review by the US Senate, and it will need approval from both chambers of Congress to move forward. An earlier bill that was passed into law in December 2019 prohibits the use of PFAS in materials used to manufacture ready-to-eat meals for the military (FPF reported).

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen was part of the group that introduced the legislation into the Senate. She commented that “PFAS chemicals have found their way into not only our water systems, but also everyday supplies including food packaging, cosmetics and many other household items. This legislation would help protect our service members and their families from exposure by prohibiting the Department of Defense from procuring items that contain these harmful contaminants. I urge members on both sides of the aisle to join us in this effort.”

In an article published on July 2, 2020, regulatory news provider Chemical Watch reports having seen a draft communication document on the upcoming EU chemicals strategy concerning PFAS. It reports that a set of six action points has been developed with the aim to phase out everything except “essential uses” of PFAS across EU legislation. A public consultation period recently ended on the roadmap for the strategy (FPF reported), and the European Commission is set to release a final version of the strategy in the fall. There has been an increasing number of calls from academic scientists and civil society organizations to develop strict criteria defining essential uses (FPF reported) for PFAS, and a group of five EU member states also previously announced they are working on a separate proposal to restrict non-essential uses (FPF reported).

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Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (July 2, 2020). “House Armed Services Committee passes NDAA amendments to tackle PFAS crisis.”

Jeanne Shaheen (June 29, 2020). “Shaheen & Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers Introduce Legislation To Reduce PFAS Exposure Among Service Members & Military Families.”

Chemical Watch (June 29, 2020). “Legislation would bar US Department of Defense from purchasing PFAS-containing products.”

Clelia Oziel (July 2, 2020). “EU Commission outlines major plan to tackle PFASs under chemicals strategy.” Chemical Watch

Jon Kelvey (July 16, 2020). “Bipartisan lawmakers file PFAS amendment to US defence spending bill.” Chemical Watch

Jon Kelvey (July 23, 2020). “US House advances legislation to tackle PFAS use at Department of Defense.” Chemical Watch