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Environment

EPA To Regulate Some Perfluorinated Chemicals

by Cheryl Hogue
October 7, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 40

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EPA is restricting a family of chemicals once widely used on carpets to resist soil and stains. A rule that the agency released on Sept. 30 will regulate long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic compounds. U.S. chemical makers have largely phased out these substances, which studies show persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in humans and animals, and potentially threaten human health, EPA says. But these compounds could still be imported to the U.S. in carpets, says James J. Jones, EPA assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention. Under the rule, any company making or importing carpets or products used on carpets containing long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylates will have to notify EPA before doing so. The agency will review any notices it receives and, if warranted, limit production or importation under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Perfluoroalkyl carboxylates are among a handful of compounds that EPA targeted for regulation as part of an action plan it released at the end of 2009.

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