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Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark plan to propose a joint REACH restriction to limit the manufacture and use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). As a preliminary step, the national authorities of these countries have issued a request for data on the products and mixtures containing PFAS currently being used and produced in the European Union, and products using alternatives to PFAS. The call for data is open until July 31, 2020.

Washington State’s Department of Ecology (Ecology) will hold a webinar on Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in food packaging on April 14, 2020.

As concern about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continues to grow due, in part, to their prevalence in the environment, actions to limit or ban their use often extends to food packaging. For example, the use of PFAS in food packaging for military meals ready-to-eat (MREs) is prohibited after October 1, 2021. Additionally, several bills have been introduced in Congress that include bans on use of PFAS in food packaging and containers.

Dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) is among the substances that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is considering recommending for inclusion on the Authorization List (Annex XIV) under REACH. ECHA stated in a March 5 press release that DCHP (used as a plasticizer) should potentially be considered as a substance of very high concern due to its reporductive toxicity and endrocrinedisrupting properties.

Washington State’s Department of Ecology (Ecology) hosted a webinar on Hazard and Exposure Methodology and Decision Rules concerning Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in food packaging on February 11, 2020. Washington’s Toxics in Packaging Law (RCW 70.95G) was amended in 2018 to include a ban on PFAS in food packaging that will take effect following the identification of safer alternative products. 

On February 24, 2020, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) published a draft scientific opinion on the risks to human health related to the presence of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food. The draft opinion recommends a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 8 ng/kg bw per week for the sum of four PFAS: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

Food and beverage cans with liners containing phenolic compounds and printing inks containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been named as draft priority consumer products under Washington State’s Safer Products Program.

On January 14, 2020, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) hosted a workshop on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and their alternatives in food packaging. California is considering prioritizing PFASs in food packaging under its Green Chemistry/Safer Consumer Products legislation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on December 4, 2019, to solicit public input regarding the potential addition of certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of chemicals subject to reporting under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (also known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)).

Connecticut has published an action plan on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that includes several recommendations related to food packaging.