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Maine Issues Updated Proposal to Require Priority Chemical Reporting for PFOS

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection recently re-posted for a 30-day comment period (through 4 November) a revised version of a proposal to add perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) to the list of priority chemicals subject to its Safer Chemicals in Children's Products reporting requirement. Under this 2008 law, the agency classifies chemicals into three tiers: 1,400 chemicals of concern, 36 chemicals of high concern, and a small number of priority chemicals subject to a reporting requirement.

If finalised, the addition of PFOS to the priority chemical list would require manufacturers or distributors of certain children’s products containing intentionally added non-de minimis amounts of PFOS to report specific information to the state of Maine, with new market entrants required to do so within 30 days of the product’s availability in the state. The list of affected children’s products would include child care articles, children's clothing, children's footwear, children's sleepwear, children's toys, cookware, tableware, reusable food and beverage containers, cosmetics and personal care products, craft supplies, electronic devices, and household furniture and furnishings. In addition to children’s products, this action would apply to consumer products that are sold for indoor use in a residence, child care facility or school, or for outdoor residential use if a child under 12 years of age may have direct contact with the item.

Chemicals already subject to Maine’s reporting requirements include bisphenol A; the flame retardants decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD); the phthalates di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and diethyl phthalate (DEP); formaldehyde; nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP/NPE); cadmium; mercury; and arsenic. If the proposal on PFOS is finalised, affected manufacturers/distributors would be required to submit the following information:

  • name and address of the manufacturer or distributor, and name, address and phone number of a contact person for the manufacturer or distributor;
  • description of the manufacturer’s or distributor’s product(s) containing PFOS, including the overall size of the product and/or the component of the product that contains PFOS and whether the product or PFOS-containing component can be placed in the mouth (if smaller than five centimetres in one dimension);
  • amount of PFOS in each unit of the product reported;
  • function of PFOS in the product reported;
  • number of product units sold or distributed in Maine or nationally, and
  • any other information the manufacturer or distributor deems relevant to the reporting.

The Department of Environmental Protection will establish a one-time reporting fee to cover information management costs. For current products, the structure is set up as a base fee of US$100 and an additional amount between US$50 and US$300 per product, depending on how many product units are sold in Maine.

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