EPA Takes Action Under TSCA to Halt Use of PFAS in Certain Plastic Containers

On December 1, EPA issued orders, under the authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), to Inhance Technologies LLC (Inhance) directing it not to produce PFAS, chemicals that are created in the production of its fluorinated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic containers. In 2019, EPA linked the fluorinated HDPE plastic containers manufactured by Inhance and used to store mosquitocide to PFOA-contaminated drinking water in Easton, Massachusetts. Since then, EPA has determined that three of the PFAS produced (PFOA, PFNA and PFDA) are highly toxic and present unreasonable risks that cannot be prevented other than through prohibition of manufacture. Therefore, under TSCA, EPA is prohibiting the continued manufacture of PFOA, PFNA, and PFDA that are produced from the fluorination of HDPE.

EPA also determined that the remaining six of the nine PFAS chemicals manufactured by Inhance may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment and, under TSCA, is requiring the company to cease manufacture of these chemicals and to perform additional testing if it intends to restart production. These orders become effective February 28, 2024. The Agency’s press release notes that “[a]lternatives to this fluorination process exist that will allow for many sectors to continue to provide products with the necessary protective packaging.”