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EPA says industry is voluntarily reducing toxic chemicals

More than 150 alternatives to long-chain perfluorinated chemicals have been developed

February 14, 2012
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GHS standard stalled at OMBThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the interim results of a voluntary effort by eight chemical manufacturers to reduce emissions and use of long-chain perfluorinated chemicals (LCPFCs), including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Used in hundreds of manufacturing and industrial applications, LCPFCs are toxic, persistent in the environment worldwide and can accumulate in people. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has identified the reduction of toxic chemicals in the environment as one of the agency's top priorities.

EPA’s 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Program was established in 2006 in partnership with DuPont, Solvay Solexis, Asahi Glass Company, Daikin America, Inc., Clariant International Ltd., 3M/Dyneon, Arkema Inc. and BASF (formerly Ciba Specialty Chemicals Corporation). The program set a goal of reducing facility emissions and product content of PFOA and related chemicals on a global basis by 95 percent, no later than 2010, and to work toward eliminating emissions and product content of these chemicals by 2015. The interim results released today highlight the success companies participating in the partnership have made in reducing releases of PFOA and other LCPFCs.

Daikin, DuPont, 3M/Dyneon and Solvay Solexis have met the program’s intermediate goal of a 95 percent reduction in global emissions and product content by 2010. The companies continue to reduce emissions of LCPFC’s as well as overall product content of LCPFC’s. Additionally, more than150 replacement chemicals have been developed. The eight participating companies have informed EPA that they are on track to phase out LCPFCs by the end of 2015.

“I am pleased to see that many of the Stewardship Program companies are making excellent progress and all are on track to meet the ultimate goal of phasing out LCPFCs by the end of 2015,” said Jim Jones, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The program is an important part of the agency's efforts to mitigate exposures to LCPFCs.”

EPA remains concerned about LCPFCs being produced by companies that are not participating in the stewardship program and intends to take action to address those concerns. These actions are part of an ongoing effort outlined in 2009 that would further reduce exposure to LCPFCs by addressing their use in products from sources other than the eight companies participating in the stewardship program. The action plan is available at: www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals/pubs/actionplans/pfcs.html

More information on PFOA and LCPFCs are at: www.epa.gov/oppt/pfoa. Company progress reports and EPA's summary tables can be accessed at: epa.gov/oppt/pfoa/pubs/stewardship/preports5.html

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