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US Legislative Developments: PFAS in Consumer Goods

Toys and Juvenile Products, HG Restricted Substances, Home Furnishings and Houseware, Sports and Leisure, Footwear and Leather Products, Home Textiles, SL Restricted Substances, EE Restricted Substances, Electrical Medical DevicesFebruary 09, 2021

Several states in the U.S. have published proposals to prohibit PFAS chemicals in consumer products. The scope of products targeted is essentially food contact materials and articles.

Perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a diverse family of synthetic chemicals that are used in the manufacture of everyday products with anti-stain, water, grease, oil and/or dirt repelling properties. These chemicals, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are known to be used in the manufacture of a wide variety of consumer products, including cosmetics, food contact materials and articles, firefighting foam, stain-resistant carpets and upholstered furniture, as well as waterproof apparel and equipment.

In the U.S., the use of PFAS is regulated in a number of jurisdictions, including California (Prop 65), Maine, New York, San Francisco and Washington.

Since the beginning of 2021, several proposals at the U.S. state level have been published to prohibit PFAS in consumer goods, especially those in food packaging. It is interesting to note that Minnesota’s SF 373 is also proposing to prohibit phthalates and bisphenols (bisphenol A (BPA) and its analogues) as part of its regulated substances in food contact materials and articles.

Highlights of these bills are summarized in Table 1.

Jurisdiction (Bill)SubstanceScope RequirementProposed Effective Date
Connecticut
(Proposed SB 111)
PFASFood packaging
Prohibited when alternatives are determined to be available----
---
Food packaging containing expanded polystyrene
----
Connecticut
(Proposed SB 404)
PFAS
Consumer productsProhibited
----
Iowa
(SF 19)
PFAS
Food packaging
Prohibited
January 1, 2023¹
Iowa
(HF 293)
Flame retardants
Residential upholstered furniture
≤ 0.1% each FR and ≤ 0.1% of a FR mixture (fabrics, coverings or cushioning materials)
January 1, 2022¹
PFAS
Food packaging
Prohibited
January 1, 2022¹
Class B firefighting foam
Prohibited
January 1, 2022¹
Fire firefighting personal protective equipment
Prohibited
January 1, 2022¹
Minnesota
(SF 70/HF 79)
PFAS
Food packagingProhibited
January 1, 2022
Minnesota
(SF 373)
PFAS
Food packagingProhibited unless presence is incidental
January 1, 2023
ortho-Phthalates
Bisphenols
Rhode Island
(S.110)
PFAS
Food packaging
Prohibited
January 1, 2022
¹ Stocks acquired before this date are exempt

Table 1

It is important to note that the language in a bill may change as it proceeds through the legislature. 

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