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|Use of PFASs in Products: Navigating a Shifting Regulatory and Societal Landscape|
|Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a large, structurally-diverse chemical family that includes over 4,000 substances. Due in part to the properties of fluorine and the strong carbon-fluorine bond, PFASs exhibit useful functions, including durability and resistance to stains, heat, and fire. These contribute to their use in a variety of products, including outdoor wear, fire protection products, carpet protectors, non-stick frying pans, personal care products, and food contact materials. This widespread use of PFASs has led to their ubiquitous presence in the environment, people, and wildlife. Although PFASs have been used in products since the 1950s, public awareness about the persistence and toxicity of specific long-chain PFASs (i.e., perfluorooctane sulfonate [PFOS] and perfluorooctanoic acid [PFOA]) is recent. PFOS, PFOA and other long-chain PFASs are now considered contaminants of emerging concern based on their recognized undesirable qualities of persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity. As public awareness and concern about PFASs grow, we consider options that companies can take to navigate the continually shifting landscape of a chemical family that is increasingly risky to use.
Presenter(s): Tina Armstrong, Vice President/Principal Scientist, Arcadis U.S., Inc.
AIHA®Product Stewardship Society
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