Biological cleanup discovered for certain ‘forever chemicals’

Read the full story from the University of California-Riverside.

Chemical and environmental engineering scientists have identified two species of bacteria found in soil that break down a class of stubborn ‘forever chemicals’– per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, that have contaminated groundwater below industrial and military sites throughout the nation. The discovery gives hope for low-cost biological cleanup of these pollutants.

Not just a pretty package: Impending regulations dominate the industry’s fabric conversations

Read the full story at Furniture Today.

Along with pattern, texture and the annual color-of-the-year reveals, evolving legislation is a hot topic for textile suppliers this year, specifically the rollout of restrictions on PFAS chemicals in performance fabrics.

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroakyl substances) are used in a variety of products to prevent stains including carpets and textiles, including some performance fabrics, and are described as a class of chemicals that don’t naturally break down.

Currently, Maine, New York, California, and Colorado are the first states to enact legislation restricting the use of “intentionally added or regulated” PFAS in textiles, and as the industry and legislative representatives work to further define the exact parameters for compliance on eliminating PFAS from performance fabrics, textile companies that provide product to furniture manufacturers are developing strategies to address the issue.

PFAS prevention legislation model aims to get Northeast lawmakers on the same page

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) has written draft model legislation aimed at reducing and eliminating the use of PFAS in products.

The draft legislation offers a “menu of options” for legislators to consider, including a ban on products and packaging with intentionally-added PFAS. Manufacturers could apply for an exemption if they can prove the product has an “unavoidable use,” but they would be required to establish an extended producer responsibility organization to take back the items.

The draft bill contains other recommended provisions meant to label PFAS-containing items, educate the public on PFAS issues and set requirements so downstream operators know manufacturers are complying with regulations. The group is seeking public comment on the draft through June 29.

New tech could one day scrub ‘forever chemicals’ from your tap water

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

Canadian researchers said they have developed a method to filter toxic “forever chemicals” from water and potentially destroy the long-lasting compounds permanently.

EPA Tools & Resources Training Webinar: PFAS Analytic Tools

Jun 1, 2023, 2-3 pm CDT
Register here.

To support EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, EPA is compiling and integrating a collection of data that can be used to evaluate what is known about PFAS manufacture, release, and occurrence in communities. As part of this effort, EPA is integrating data available nationally with other information from states, Tribes, and localities that are testing for PFAS pursuant to their own regulatory or voluntary data collection initiatives. The data included in the PFAS Analytic Tools have a wide range of location-specific data and, in general, are based on national scope and readily accessible, public information repositories.

The PFAS Analytic Tools make it easier to evaluate the collective PFAS information from 11 different databases – the application integrates these datasets into an interactive, web-based software. Consolidating all these data sources in one searchable platform will help the public, researchers, and other stakeholders better understand potential PFAS sources in their communities, including potential exposure pathways in communities with environmental justice concerns.

This training webinar will provide an overview of the PFAS Analytic Tools and a tutorial on how to use them.

Communities of color disproportionately exposed to PFAS pollution in drinking water

Read the full story from Harvard University.

People who live in communities with higher proportions of Black and Hispanic/Latino residents are more likely to be exposed to harmful levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in their water supplies than people living in other communities, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The researchers link this finding to the disproportionate siting of sources of PFAS pollution—such as major manufacturers, airports, military bases, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills—near watersheds serving these communities.

The study was published online May 15, 2023, in Environmental Science & Technology.

In Texas fracking, ‘forever chemicals’ abound

Read the full story at Undark.

Despite scientific concern, PFAS are still used in everything from waterproof camping gear to fast food containers. And according to a new study, they are used even more in Texas.

A new report by the Physicians for Social Responsibility documents the wide use of PFAS in oil and gas drilling and calls on Texas to follow the lead of some other states in restricting use of the chemicals. The group criticized state regulations that allow energy companies to withhold information on the use of chemicals they deem to be proprietary.

‘Safer’ PFAS replacements in food packaging still hazardous, finds research: ‘Polymers aren’t a harmless loophole’

Read the full story from Food Navigator Europe.

Replacement per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) thought to be safe for use in food packaging break down into toxic PFAS, according to fresh research.

High levels of ‘forever chemicals’ found in paper takeout containers: Study

Read the full story from the University of Toronto.

From makeup to clothing and furniture, so-called “forever chemicals” are everywhere – including the paper bowls and containers used to package Canadian fast-food meals.

In a recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, Miriam L. Diamond, a professor in the U of T’s department of Earth sciences and School of the Environment in the Faculty of Arts & Science, and her team examined 42 paper-based wrappers and bowls – often billed as an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastics – collected from fast-food restaurants in Toronto.

They were looking for potentially toxic human-made perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), of which there are more than 9,000 in the world.

The most abundant compound detected in the samples was 6:2 FTOH, or 6:2 fluorotelomer alcohol – a PFAS that is known to be toxic. Another finding: fibre-based moulded bowls that are marketed as “compostable” had PFAS levels three to 10 times higher than paper doughnut and pastry bags.

States seek to ban cosmetics and toiletries with forever chemicals. But EPA still eyes drinking water

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

Some state legislative bodies want to ban cosmetics and toiletries with forever chemicals that do not readily break down and remain in the body — known as PFAs.