Skip to main content

Fact versus fiction: ‘Forever chemicals’ hazardous substance designation is not a ban

By June 30, 2022July 26th, 2022PFAS in the news

If the Environmental Protection Agency designates the two best studied ‘forever chemicals‘ called PFAS as hazardous substances, manufacturers will not be forced to stop using them.

That’s because the relevant law, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Liability, and Compensation Act, or CERCLA – better known as the Superfund law – doesn’t regulate use. It regulates cleanup. A CERCLA hazardous substance listing does not prevent responsible manufacturers from continuing to use PFAS. Instead, it governs the cleanup of sites contaminated by the release of hazardous substances and allows the EPA to recover costs from responsible polluters.

The need to clean up historic PFAS contamination has never been so urgent. This month, the EPA concluded that PFAS, which have been linked to cancer and other health harms, are far more toxic than previously thought. Read more…