The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule that finalizes reporting and recordkeeping requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The EPA states that this rule only applies to manufacturers of PFAS but that importers of PFAS in articles are considered PFAS manufacturers.

PFAS are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s and can be found in a wide array of industrial and consumer products. They are synthesized for many different uses, from firefighting foams, to coatings for clothes and furniture, to food contact substances, to the manufacture of other chemicals and products. They are used in a wide variety of products, including textiles, electronics, wires and cables, pipes, cooking and bakeware, sport articles, automotive products, toys, transportation equipment, and musical instruments, that may be imported into the U.S. as finished articles.

The EPA states that PFAS can be released into the environment throughout the lifecycle of manufacturing, processing, distribution, use, and disposal, that there is evidence that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals, and that continued exposure above specific levels may lead to adverse health effects.

As a result, this rule will require persons that manufacture (including import) or have manufactured these chemical substances in any year since Jan. 1, 2011, to submit information to the EPA regarding PFAS uses, production volumes, byproducts, disposal, exposures, and environmental or health effects. The EPA is allowing affected entities until Nov. 13, 2024, to collect data, followed by a six-month reporting period. As a result, reports will be due approximately May 13, 2025, except for reports from small article importers, which will be due Nov. 13, 2026.

The EPA states that these reports will create a more comprehensive database of previously manufactured PFAS to improve the agency’s understanding of these substances in commerce and support actions to address PFAS exposure and contamination.

A June 2020 final rule authorized the EPA to review an expansive list of products containing PFAS before they could be manufactured, sold, or imported into the U.S. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently requested information on the actual or potential use or presence of PFAS in consumer products.

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