The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing a rule that will allow the agency to restrict imports of potentially harmful perfluorinated chemicals that could be used in carpets.
The regulation will require companies to report to EPA all new uses, including in domestic and imported products, of these chemicals once used for soil and stain resistance in carpets. These chemicals have been shown to persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in humans and animals. This action follows the U.S. chemical industry’s voluntary phase out of these chemicals and a range of actions by EPA to address concerns with these chemicals.
“While this category of chemicals has largely been voluntarily phased out by the U.S. chemical industry and not in use in this country, they could still be imported in carpets. Today’s action will ensure that EPA has the opportunity to take action to restrict or limit the intended use, if warranted, for any new domestic uses or imports,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The final rule, known as a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act, requires that anyone who intends to manufacture, import, or process any long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic (LCPFAC) chemicals for use in carpets or carpet products submit a notification to EPA at least 90 days before beginning the activity. This will provide the agency with an opportunity to review – and if necessary – place limits on manufactures or processors who intend to reintroduce or import products with these chemicals.
The full report can be found on the EPA website.