It is imperative for businesses to be proactive in addressing the challenges posed by PFAS in products and supply chains.
PFAS Regulations in Products and Supply Chains – Are You Ready?
In the complex world of supply chain management, a new challenge is looming large: PFAS chemicals. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have become a global concern due to their health and environmental impacts, forcing supply chain managers to navigate a maze of regulations. Understanding and gaining transparency into PFAS exposure in the supply chain have become essential business requirements, and proactive action is the need of the hour.
EPA’s TSCA Reporting Requirements
In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ramped up the pressure with new reporting requirements finalized in September under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Companies of all sizes that have manufactured or imported PFAS in the United States (including as part of a manufactured product) must submit information to the EPA regarding PFAS uses, production volumes, byproducts, disposal, exposures, and existing information on environmental or health effects for every year since January 1, 2011. This reporting applies to well over 1,000 kinds of PFAS. This one-time reporting requirement is due 18 months following the effective date of the rule, except for small importers of articles, who have 6 additional months to submit their reports. This move adds layers of complexity to supply chain management, requiring meticulous assessment of raw materials, manufacturing processes, and finished products.
Numerous US states are setting the stage with their own PFAS regulations. Maine leads with perhaps the most sweeping law, which applies to any product sold, offered for sale, or distributed for sale in the state and requires manufacturers to report intentionally added PFAS in those products beginning January 1, 2025. In addition, effective January 1, 2030, any product containing intentionally added PFAS may not be sold in Maine unless the use of PFAS in the product is designated by the state as unavoidable use. Other states including California, Minnesota and Vermont have also enacted legislation that requires reporting and elimination of PFAS in a range of product categories, with similar legislation moving through other state capitols around the country. These state laws are widely viewed as precursors to nationwide regulations.
EU REACH PFAS Regulations
Across the pond, the European Union has proposed stringent regulations under REACH, its chemical regulation framework. If the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) adopts the restriction proposal, manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers would be banned from using most kinds of PFAS, with the exception of some that are seen as essential. This new regulation, if passed, would make the EU one of the strictest areas of the world concerning PFAS regulatory compliance.
Proactive Measures for Supply Chain Managers
The clock is ticking, and waiting for the storm to pass is not an option. Supply chain managers must proactively engage with suppliers to unearth vital information about PFAS presence in raw materials and manufacturing processes. In this rapidly evolving landscape, key steps for supply chain managers include:
In conclusion, it is imperative for businesses to be proactive in addressing the challenges posed by PFAS in products and supply chains. Being prepared and adopting sustainable, PFAS-free alternatives can not only safeguard public health and the environment but also help companies maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly conscientious market.
ADEC Innovations is committed to tackling environmental and social challenges on a global scale, helping our customers to grow responsibly. Through the seamless provision of comprehensive, cost-effective consulting, data management, and software solutions, ADEC presents the DataAssured Solution for PFAS.
This data-as-a-service solution brings together ADEC’s proficiency in environmental services with a proven supplier engagement platform, enabling companies to evaluate their PFAS regulatory risk exposure. It facilitates the collection and processing of PFAS data from suppliers, offers insightful visualizations of supplier PFAS use and assists in the generation of reports.
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