Six urgent questions to address PFAS

Environmental Science and Technology feature article discusses six urgent questions to be answered to address worldwide per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances’ (PFAS) contamination and health impacts; describes importance, barriers, and ways forward for each question; emphasizes the need for cooperation, increased transparency, consideration of environmental equity; US FDA’s budget request calls for increased investment in addressing PFAS

PFAS actions in three US states

California expected to pass bill banning PFAS in food packaging; Michigan legislators reintroduce bill to ban PFAS, phthalates, and bisphenols in food packaging; Massachusetts’ Toxics Use Reduction Act program votes for expanding reporting requirements

Manufacturers share PFAS-free packaging recipe

Companies Zume and Solenis release recipe and manufacturing specifications to produce molded fiber packaging free of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); alternative suitable for high temperatures, grease and water-resistant; decide to make the process freely available to speed the transition to safer packaging materials

FDA letter on plastic FCM fluorination

In a letter, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds manufacturers, distributors, and users “that only certain fluorinated polyethylene containers are authorized for food contact use”; reminder necessary following recent findings by US EPA and civil society organizations that some manufacturers are not following FDA regulations

US EPA extends comment period on PFAS reporting requirements

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extends comment period for proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); would require manufacturers that produced PFAS at anytime since 2011 to make a one-time report with information about uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards; comments accepted until September 27, 2021

Five EU Member States register intention to restrict PFAS

Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden jointly inform the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) of their intention to submit a REACH restriction dossier on PFAS in 2022; stakeholders can contribute information to inform the dossier’s development until September 19, 2021

Maine phasing out PFAS in all products by 2030

US State of Maine passes LD 1503, the most comprehensive PFAS regulation in the United States; manufacturers must report the uses of PFAS in the state; by 2030 all uses of PFAS will be prohibited unless designated “currently unavoidable”; Maine already prohibits PFAS in food packaging

Plastic container fluorine treatments create PFAS

Scientists from Environmental Defense Fund and Green Science Policy Institute find fluorine gas treatment used on “millions of polyethylene and polypropylene containers each year” including those for food contact; treatment can produce PFAS that migrate from the material

OECD report reconciles PFAS terminology

OECD publishes report providing a revised definition of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); gives stakeholders practical guidance on how to use the terminology and a systematic approach on how to characterize PFAS based on molecular structural traits; proposed terminology developed to comprehensively reflect the universe of PFAS

Review clarifies essential-use concept and its application

Review resolves misinterpretations of the essential-use concept and exemplifies the concept’s application using case studies, e.g., on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); classifies concept as feasible and a novel, effective, and more rapid approach of managing chemicals of potential concern