PFAS detected in European disposable food packaging

Coalition of civil society organizations samples paper food packaging articles from major fast-food chains and supermarkets across six European countries; chemical analysis finds 32 articles were intentionally treated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); differences identified among countries, results show the currently few national regulations on PFAS are effective where they are in place

NGO alliance calls on US FDA to update regulations

NGOs in the United States including Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Earth Justice, and the Environmental Defense Fund, launch campaign calling on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update its rules about chemicals present in food packaging; new campaign targets heavy metals, PFAS, phthalates, and perchlorate

Study finds PFAS in 100% of sampled breastmilk

Environmental Science and Technology publishes study in which 100% of milk samples from breast-feeding mothers contained at least one of 39 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); Phased-out PFOS and PFOA were most abundant compounds but currently used short-chain PFAS such as PFHpA and PFHpA detected in majority of samples and becoming more common; The Guardian reports chemical companies hid risks about short-chain PFAS in food packaging

Wendy’s to phase out PFAS by end of 2021

Fast food chain Wendy’s will eliminate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in consumer-facing packaging in the US and Canada by the end of 2021, establish restricted substances list (RSL); faster phase-out timeline than competitor McDonald’s; public health advocates applaud fast-paced commitment, call on Burger King to take similar action

Canada intends to approach PFAS as single class

Canadian government announces intention to consider per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as single class; will continue to support PFAS related research, collect information on how to implement approach, review implementation of other jurisdictions; plans to publish overview report in 2023; approach open for stakeholder feedback about challenges and opportunities

PFAS-Tox Database launched

Collaborative group of universities and NGOs publishes PFAS-Tox Database; publicly available resource provides systematic evidence map covering 742 toxicity studies on 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); features dozens of studies on ‘purportedly safer’ PFAS; findings show adverse health impacts studied for wide range of PFAS; experts call for class-based management of all PFAS

Study finds plant-based straws containing PFAS

Article published in peer-reviewed journal Chemosphere analyzes biodegradable paper straws for presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); tests 38 products, finds PFAS in 36, most frequently detects perfluorobutanoic acid, perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorohexanoic acid; challenges claim of biodegradability of plant-based straws

US EPA reissues PFBS risk assessment  

US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) reissues risk assessment on perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS); sets reference doses for chronic exposure of 0.0003 mg/kg body weight/day and sub-chronic exposures of 0.001 mg/kg body weight/day

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