EPA adds 160 PFAS to Toxics Release Inventory

By Cheryl Hogue | C&EN | January 23, 2020

Read the full article by Cheryl Hogue (C&EN)

"US businesses that emit any of 160 types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances(PFAS) to air, water, or land will have to report those releases to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agency unveiled on Jan. 16 the list of PFAS substances that it added to the Toxics Release Inventory as required by a military spending law (Public Law 116-92) enacted in December. Companies will have to report their releases of the listed PFAS for calendar year 2020, the EPA says. The agency will then make the information available to the public.

Gathering information about which facilities emit PFAS—and how much—is the first step toward restricting those releases, says Scott Faber, senior vice president at the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization.

The list includes PFAS no longer made in the US, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). Also on the list are the pesticide sulfluramid, which breaks down into PFOS, and Chemours’s GenX surfactant, which is a replacement for PFOA as a fluoropolymer processing aid. Other listed PFAS are less widely known, such as perfluorohexadecyl iodide and the potassium salt of nonafluorobis(trifluoromethyl)cyclohexane sulfonic acid."