Nessel presses EPA to strengthen review, reporting requirements for PFAS-containing materials

Michigan

In this June 17, 2019 photo in Washington, a label states that these pans do not contain PFAS. For consumers, the health information that state and local governments and industry are releasing about a family of nonstick and stain-resistant compounds _ known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS _ can be a lot like the label messages on those pots and pans: a confusing mix of reassurances and alarm. (AP Photo/Ellen Knickmeyer)

Lansing, Mich. — Just under half of all U.S. states are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen a proposed rule on review and reporting requirements of new uses for the toxic and persistent chemicals of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS.  

PFAS contamination in groundwater and surface water has been identified at dozens of sites in Michigan. The substances have been shown to cause adverse health effects including developmental defects, kidney cancer, liver damage, and impacts on the thyroid and immune system. 

Attorney General Nessel has recently filed a lawsuit against PFAS manufacturers to hold those companies responsible for the injuries and damages they profited from. 

“EPA needs to do its part with strong, sensible review and reporting of materials containing PFAS that are entering our communities,” Nessel said.  

PFAS chemicals are used in a variety of consumer products including nonstick cookware; waterproofing treatments for fabrics, carpeting and upholstery; food packaging; and firefighting foam.  

The fight against PFAS

PFAS do not break down easily in the environment, which is why they are called “forever chemicals.”   

The attorneys general urged the EPA to broaden a proposed rule to require review and reporting on new uses of materials containing long-chain (more persistent) PFAS, both to ensure that any necessary restrictions on unsafe uses can be imposed, and to give the public and state and local governments information about the introduction of these items into the marketplace before their persistent PFAS components are released into the environment.   

Nessel joins the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin in filing the comment letter. 

A copy of the comment letter can be found here

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