The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is taking the next step in the potential identification of carpets and rugs with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) as Priority Products under its Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program. The agency is holding a public workshop on December 9, 2019, and has opened a public comment period on the proposal. The deadline for public comments is December 31, 2019.
PFASs are becoming increasingly scrutinized by regulators across multiple jurisdictions. In California, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), chemicals within the larger class of PFASs, were added to the Proposition 65 list in 2017. In connection with its current proposal, DTSC has stated its concern “about the hazard traits of PFASs and their widespread presence in the environment, humans, and other living organisms. Carpets and rugs treated with PFASs for stain- or soil-resistance are potential long-term sources of widespread human and ecological exposures to this class of chemicals.”
As part of its stakeholder outreach efforts under the SCP program, DTSC held its first workshop on this topic in January 2017. Following that meeting, DTSC published its Product-Chemical Profile for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Carpets and Rugs in February 2018. Several public comments were submitted in response. The agency held its second public workshop on the topic in March 2018.
Since the SCP program was first put in place in 2013, DTSC has identified three Priority Products: children’s foam-padded sleeping products with the flame retardants TDCPP or TCEP (July 2017); spray polyurethane foam systems with unreacted MDI (July 2018); and paint or varnish paint strippers containing methylene chloride (January 2019). Under the program, Priority Products must undergo a safer alternatives assessment to evaluate whether “safer” alternatives to the chemicals of concern in those products can be used.
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