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‘Game-changer’: EPA issues final reporting rule on ‘forever’ chemicals


Photo: Kittisak Kaewchalun/iStockphoto

Washington — An Environmental Protection Agency final rule will require manufacturers and importers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to report information on PFAS use, exposures and hazards.

EPA has determined that the rulemaking will cover at least 1,462 PFAS – also known as “forever chemicals” because they break down slowly over time – and potentially impact industries including construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and waste management and remediation.

Published on Oct. 11 and set to go into effect Nov. 13, the rule requires anyone who has manufactured or imported PFAS since 2011 to report certain data, including:

  • Categories or proposed categories of use for each substance or mixture.
  • Total amount of each substance or mixture manufactured or processed.
  • The number of people exposed – and reasonable estimates on the number who will be exposed – to each substance or mixture in the workplace and the duration of their exposure.
  • Descriptions or byproducts resulting from the manufacture, processing, use or disposal of each substance or mixture.
  • All existing information concerning the environmental and health effects of each substance or mixture.
  • The manner or method of disposal of each substance or mixture.

“The data we’ll receive from this rule will be a game-changer in advancing our ability to understand and effectively protect people from PFAS,” Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator of the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in a press release.

The rulemaking is in accordance with the Toxic Substances Control Act and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020.

Data is due to EPA within 18 months of the rule’s effective date.

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