Two polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) –perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS)– are under proposal by the EPA to be listed as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Both chemicals are found or used in making a variety of products including carpets, clothing, furniture fabrics and packaging for cookware. In 2016, health advisories were issued for PFOA and PFOS at 70 parts per million. PFOA and PFOS have also been found in wildlife, groundwater and soil.
Recent evidence links these chemicals to danger to human health and welfare, as well as the environment. Both chemicals can accumulate and live in the human body for a prolonged time, sometimes nicknamed “the forever chemical.” Exposure may also be linked to causing cancer, reproductive, developmental, cardiovascular, liver, kidney and other immunological effects.
With this proposal, the transparency around the release of these chemicals would be increased. This would help in holding high polluters of the chemicals accountable for cleaning the contamination. If the proposal becomes a rule, facilities will immediately have to report any releases of PFOA or PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity to the National Response Center. Releases would also be reported to state or Tribal emergency response commission and the local or Tribal emergency planning committee.
The proposal is open for comment until November 7, 2022.
For more information on these PFAS chemicals being classified as hazardous substances by the EPA visit: Proposed Designation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as CERCLA Hazardous Substances | US EPA
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