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Persistent Pollutants

EPA regulation targets phased-out PFAS

by Britt E. Erickson
February 3, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 5


The US Environmental Protection Agency wants to make sure companies don’t reintroduce about 300 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the US market unless they can demonstrate that the chemicals do not pose an unreasonable risk to human health and the environment. The targeted PFAS are no longer produced in the US, primarily because of concerns about their toxicity. Under a proposed regulation released Jan. 26, companies cannot make any of the chemicals without the EPA reviewing their safety and completing a risk determination. “This proposal is part of EPA’s comprehensive strategy to stop PFAS from entering our air, land and water and harming our health and the planet,” Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, says in a statement. “The rule would put needed protections in place where none currently exist to ensure that EPA can slam the door shut on all unsafe uses of these 300 PFAS.” The EPA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until March 27.


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