Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer products across a broad spectrum of industries are being impacted by regulations regarding the presence of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (“PFAS”) in their products. This area of law is rapidly developing as states create new laws, and the penalties for non-compliance can be significant. Below is an overview of enacted and proposed state laws and regulations to assist companies in beginning an investigation into whether their products are, or will be impacted.
PFAS is a family of chemicals comprised of over 5,000 compounds. PFAS have been reported in a variety of consumer products and industrial applications including the following: children’s products, textile and apparel items, carpet cleaners, non-stick products (e.g., Teflon), stain resistant coatings, polishes, paints, cleaning products, food packaging (including pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, and take-out food containers), firefighting foam, certain cosmetics, and ski wax. Some studies have also shown that certain PFAS chemicals accumulate in humans and animals, including deer meat and fish tissue.
State regulations of PFAS in consumer products have focused on the following product sectors:
Personal protective equipment for firefighters (“PPE”)
The consumption of fish tissue and deer meat
A range of other products including pet products, manufacturing products such as textiles and rugs, and cosmetics.
BCLP, 20 October 2020