Brands | Fashion Updates

Under a new regulatory framework, the EPA might stop producing spray-on stain guards.

Published: July 21, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

-By Pratyasha Sarkar

A new framework for assessing the safety of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, or PFAS, and describing their new uses was released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday.

PFAS, sometimes known as “forever chemicals,” are present in a wide range of products despite being recognised to be harmful to human health and to pose long-term bioaccumulation dangers. Stain protectors, which frequently come into touch with human skin, include PFAS, especially in the fashion industry. Many businesses, including American Eagle, Levi’s, and The North Face, have already banned the use of PFAS in clothing, and other states have followed suit. However, this new framework may completely outlaw the chemicals.

The EPA is required by the Toxic Substances Control Act to investigate new substances within 90 days of their release. The EPA’s New Chemicals Programme, which was created to control the entry of new chemicals into commerce, now has a structure thanks to the new framework.

The EPA stated in the framework that “for PBT PFAS that are expected to lead to exposure and environmental releases, and absent a critical or military need for the substance that necessitates limited and restricted manufacture while testing is ongoing, EPA generally expects that the substance would not be allowed to enter commerce before extensive testing is conducted on physical/chemical properties, toxicity, and fate.”

Following its assessment, the EPA “could require additional testing and risk mitigation before moving forward, or could prevent the substance from being manufactured at all” if it determines that new compounds potentially pose concerns. It’s crucial to remember, though, that neither the EPA nor manufacturers will face any legal repercussions as a result of the framework.

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