As a follow-up to our Top EHS Trends for 2022 webinar, RegScan is taking a closer look at some of the activities shaping the EHS compliance and sustainability space this year. This blog post will focus on a top trend for 2022: regulating PFAS.
Regulatory action surrounding PFAS continues to be a hot topic as we move into the middle of 2022. We’re looking back on some of the recent regulatory discussion along with some changes we’ve seen since then regarding the forever chemical.
Regulating PFAS 2022: US
Major companies have begun to start taking action in support of regulating PFAS. For example, Restaurant Brands International has committed to eliminating PFAS in food packaging by 2025. Restaurant chains that would be affected by this include Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes. This move is a win for advocates who commend companies for taking independent action and hope it sparks change for Congress to propose a federal ban for all food packaging.
In addition, many states are considering new laws and policies to tighten regulations surrounding these chemicals in 2022. At least 10 states are planning on taking broad-scale regulation or restrictions on PFAS to protect public health, focusing on areas of exposure through drinking water, carpet manufacturing, and food packaging.
On the federal level, the EPA released a March 2022 notice announcing their decision on two important actions that they plan to put in place for addressing PFAS contamination. First, the EPA plans to notify companies of their obligation to comply with already existing requirements on unintentional PFAS contamination under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Second, due to a recent chemical review, the agency will be removing two PFAS chemicals from the Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL). These two chemicals have been listed on the SCIL since 2012. Taken together, these actions support the agency’s overall goal to safeguard communities from the harmful effects of PFAS chemicals.
Regulating PFAS 2022: EU
Talk surrounding PFAS regulation in the EU has mostly centered around banning the chemicals in the usage of firefighting foam. In March of 2022, a six-month consultation period opened where the European Chemicals Agency began to accept evidence-based comments surrounding the proposal. Additionally, five more European countries have begun working on a restriction proposal that would aim to control and reduce PFAS in other uses. Their goal aims to have this proposal in by January of 2023. The EU is hopeful with the introduction of this conversation surrounding PFAS in firefighting foam, hoping it opens the door for wider regulations regarding the forever chemicals for years to come.
You can expect to see global updates on PFAS notices and proposed and final regulations in our RegTracker service.