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Navigating United States PFAS Regulations: Achieving Compliance

Understanding the rapidly changing landscape of PFAS regulations in the United States is critical to ensuring your products meet all necessary standards and protecting your consumers. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of United States PFAS regulations, including governing agencies, key regulations, and how these regulations impact your supply chain.

The Landscape of PFAS Regulations in the US

PFAS have been linked to serious health risks and negative environmental impacts. In response, regulatory bodies in the United States have introduced measures to curb their use and minimize exposure due to their long-lasting impact on both human health and ecosystems.

Due to the complex and varied nature of PFAS uses and their impacts, PFAS regulations in the US are governed by multiple federal agencies, as well as individual states. There is currently no comprehensive federal regulation specifically targeting PFAS. There are also thousands of different PFAS chemicals, and the approach to PFAS regulation is evolving. The adopted and proposed policies are shifting towards a stringent control in restricting the use of all PFAS, as opposed to specific substances. Brands must stay informed about evolving PFAS regulations at the federal, state, and local levels to maintain compliance.

Noncompliance with PFAS regulations in the United States can lead to significant legal and financial repercussions, including hefty fines, mandated cleanup operations, and potential lawsuits from affected parties. Furthermore, you may face reputational damage, resulting in lost consumer trust and decreased market value, as public awareness and concern over the health and environmental risks associated with PFAS continue to grow.

Regulatory Compliance for PFAS in the United States

Each US agency involved in the regulation of PFAS has its distinct set of regulations tailored to its specific oversight responsibilities. The key governing bodies that regulate PFAS use in manufacturing and products include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and individual state governments.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA is the primary federal agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment. Under the Toxic Substances Control Act Section 8(a)7), the EPA issued reporting requirements and regulations for handling of wastewater that impact importers and manufacturers of PFAS-containing products in the US. In January 2024, the EPA also finalized a rule that bars companies from initiating or restarting the production or processing of 329 PFAS compounds without undergoing a thorough review and risk evaluation by the EPA. Learn more about EPA rulemaking for PFAS on their website.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA regulates the use of PFAS in food contact materials, such as packaging and cookware. To ensure the safety of consumers, the agency has conducted studies and set limits for specific PFAS compounds in food products. For example, in February 2024, the FDA banned the sale of grease-proofing agents containing PFAS in the US. Learn more about FDA rulemaking for PFAS on their website.

State-Level Regulations: Individual states have taken the lead in developing their own regulations. States like California, New York, and Michigan have implemented stricter standards for PFAS in drinking water, environmental remediation, and restrictions in products and product labeling. However, these state-level regulations vary in scope and stringency.

Here is a summary of state-level PFAS regulations in the US:

To ensure compliance with these regulations, businesses should closely monitor federal and state-level regulatory updates and engage with third-party experts specializing in PFAS regulations and testing. These experts can provide valuable guidance on interpreting and implementing regulatory requirements, conducting necessary testing, and staying ahead of evolving compliance standards.

Impacts on Brands, Retailers, and Manufacturers: Ensuring Compliance at Every Level of the Supply Chain

Changes to United States PFAS regulations have far-reaching implications for supply chains involved in producing, distributing, and selling products containing these chemicals. Key impacts on the supply chain include:

Sourcing and Ingredient Transparency: Manufacturers and brands must thoroughly review their supply chains to identify and assess the presence of PFAS-containing materials. Transparent communication with suppliers is vital to ensure compliance and address potential PFAS risks.

Product Reformulation: In response to regulations, companies may need to reformulate products to eliminate or reduce the use of PFAS compounds. This process requires research and development efforts, investment in alternative materials, and rigorous testing to maintain performance and safety standards.

Labeling and Consumer Education: As regulations evolve, there may be requirements for labeling products that contain PFAS or declaring their absence. Brands and retailers need to provide clear and accurate information to consumers about the presence or absence of PFAS in their products.

Liability and Reputation Management: Non-compliance with PFAS regulations can lead to legal and reputational risks. Brands, retailers, and manufacturers must prioritize compliance to avoid potential financial and brand damage resulting from regulatory penalties or consumer backlash.

The Role of Third-Party Expertise and Testing to Ensure Compliance with United States PFAS Guidelines

Third-party expertise and testing are crucial in helping companies meet PFAS compliance effectively. Here's how:

Regulatory Knowledge and Guidance: Third-party experts possess up-to-date knowledge of PFAS regulations, enabling brands and manufacturers to comply with the latest requirements. They can provide guidance on interpreting regulations, conducting risk assessments, and implementing necessary changes within supply chains.

Supply Chain Auditing: Third-party experts can conduct thorough audits of supply chains to identify potential sources of PFAS contamination. This involves examining raw materials, production processes, waste management practices, and testing finished products for PFAS content.

Testing and Analysis: Reliable third-party laboratories offer specialized testing and analysis services to determine the presence and concentration of PFAS in products and materials. Testing can help identify non-compliant products, ensure accurate labeling, and validate the effectiveness of reformulation efforts.

Compliance Verification: Independent verification and certification by third-party organizations demonstrate a brand's commitment to compliance and help build trust with consumers. Certification programs tailored to PFAS regulations can provide a standardized framework for assessing industry compliance.

Mitigating Legal and Reputational Risks: Third-party experts can assist in assessing legal and reputational risks associated with PFAS compliance. By identifying potential areas of concern and implementing appropriate measures, brands and manufacturers can proactively address issues and minimize risks.


QIMA is a trusted partner for global retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers, offering a wide range of services to ensure product quality, compliance, and supply chain transparency. Whether you need assistance with PFAS compliance, regulatory requirements, or general quality assurance, we have the expertise and experience to guide you.

Learn about our chemical lab testing services or contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the complexities of PFAS regulations and ensure compliance throughout your supply chain.

More Resources

Regulatory Updates – Check here for the most up-to-date information on PFAS regulations.

The Rising Concern: Lab Testing for PFAS in Consumer Goods – Learn everything you need to know about testing consumer goods for PFAS to ensure safety and compliance.

Quick Guide: PFAS: the "Forever Chemicals" – Learn more about PFAS in this brief guide with everything you need to know about these “forever chemicals.”

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