Last week, EPA finalized a rule to allow the agency to restrict imports of potentially harmful perfluorinated chemicals that could be used in carpets to impart soil, water, and stain resistance. The final rule is known as a significant new use rule (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and will require companies to report all new uses of long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (LCPFAC), including intent to manufacture, import, or process LCPFAC-containing products intended for use as part of carpets or to treat carpets. According to EPA, this category of chemicals has been shown to persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in humans and animals, thus posing a potential threat to human health.
“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. “This action will also provide a level playing field for those companies who stepped up to cease the use of these chemicals in this country, while at the same time protecting the American public from exposure to these chemicals in imported carpet products.”
View a copy of the SNUR as a PDF. For more information, read EPA’s press release.