Washington PFAS Law Takes Aim At Consumer Goods

April 5, 2022

Read the full article by John Gardella (The National Law Review)

"On March 31, 2022, Washington’s Governor signed into law a bill that significantly accelerates the state’s initiative to develop regulations for various consumer goods that contain PFAS. With increasing attention being given to PFAS in consumer goods in the media, scientific community, and in state legislatures, the Washington PFAS law takes direct aim at a variety of specific products. It is critical for companies anywhere in the manufacturing or supply chain for consumer goods to immediately assess the impact of the proposed PFAS legislation on corporate practices, and make decisions regarding continued use of PFAS in products, as opposed to substituting for other substances.  At the same time, companies impacted by the PFAS legislation must be aware that the new law poses risks to the companies involvement in PFAS litigation in both the short and long term.

Washington PFAS Law and Focus On Consumer Goods

Washington’s latest PFAS-related legislation, HB 1694, requires the state’s Department of Ecology (DOE) to name PFAS-containing firefighting gear a “priority product” under the state’s Safer Products For Washington initiative. The bill also allows the DOE to name as a “priority product” any product named in the 2021 PFAS Chemical Action Plan – namely, nonstick cookware, personal care products, cleaning agents, water-repellant clothing and gear, automotive products, and waxes and sealants for floors, skis, and cars. In addition, the bill allows the DOE flexibility to designate additional products as “priority products.”  Typically, the DOE adds products to the “priority” list every five years, so HB 1694 accelerates (if not outright eliminates) the five year waiting period."