US CDC releases updated biomonitoring data

New set of data tables from US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published in four volumes; includes human exposure data for persistent organic pollutants, pesticides, and a focus on exposures of adult cigarette smokers; over 70 new chemicals measured including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

5th retailer report card on chemical safety

‘Mind the Store’ campaign publishes updated report card scoring 50 major North American retailers on their actions to remove toxic chemicals from their products; finds improvement over last year in 70% of companies reviewed, focus has remained on eliminating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), ortho-phthalates, and bisphenols from products

The Guardian investigates PFAS in blood, food packaging, and cookware

Journalist from The Guardian tests household items and his own blood for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in partnership with the University of Notre Dame and the Silent Spring Institute; analysis confirms presence of four types of PFAS in blood serum, 15 household products, food packaging and cookware; identified substances include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane-1-sulphonic acid (PFHxS)

Scientists request US EPA to ban PFAS as a class

Group of 67 scientists send letter to new US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, requesting class-based ban on all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) except for essential uses; argue this would provide efficient process to greatly reduce exposure, further recommend EPA to require toxicity testing of widely present PFAS

PFAS alternatives for paper food packaging

Article in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety discusses alternatives for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in paper food packaging; considers lamination with waxes and polymer films, alternative surface sizing and coatings; views finding cost-effective, fully biodegradable, and environmentally friendly alternatives challenging

Rite Aid expands chemical policy to include FCMs

Drug store chain Rite Aid expands its chemicals policy to cover food contact materials (FCMs); restricted substances list sets concentration limits, does not allow intentional use in food packaging of various heavy metals, all ortho-phthalates, all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Washington state publishes updates on PFAS, draft criteria

Department of Ecology for the US state of Washington publishes alternatives assessment for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging, identifies alternatives for four packaging types; restrictions will come into force early 2023; working draft criteria defining “safer” and “feasible and available” for alternative assessments released for public comment

California proposes regulating PFAS as single class

US state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control proposes regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as single class under Safer Consumer Products Framework, approach based on environmental persistence; could help other regulatory agencies, be applied to other complex compound classes such as microplastics

Model legislation suggests regulation of PFAS and phthalates

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) announces model legislation update, suggests regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and ortho-phthalates, stricter limits for heavy metals

Chemicals change gut microbiome in children

Study in Environmental Science Technology Letters investigates presence of semi-volatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) and associated changes in microbiome of 79 children with 43 SVOC biomarkers detected; study includes phthalates, phenols, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); less abundant microbes replaced due to higher sensitivity to chemicals, increased abundance of dehalogenation bacteria observed; more extensive studies needed to verify results and understand human health implications