A PFAS products ban bill now sits on the desk of the governor of Colorado, the last step before the piece of legislation becomes state law. The bill, HB 1345, would ban the use of PFAS in a variety of consumer goods, which follows in the footsteps of several other states that have enacted similar laws. Some states, such as New York and Maine, have taken broad-sweeping approaches to banning “intentionally added” PFAS from consumer goods. Other states, such as Vermont, have enacted product-specific laws banning the sale of PFAS-containing products within the state.
It is critical for companies to immediately assess the impact of the Colorado PFAS products ban on corporate practices, and make decisions regarding continued use of PFAS in products, as opposed to substituting for other substances. At the same time, companies impacted by the Colorado PFAS legislation must be aware that the bill poses risks to the companies involvement in PFAS litigation in both the short and long term.
Colorado PFAS Products Ban Proposals
The language of Colorado bill HB 1345 is relatively simple in that it will ban the sale of products in the state that contain “intentionally added” PFAS in the following consumer goods on January 1, 2024:
- Carpets or rugs;
- Fabric treatments;
- Food packaging;
- Juvenile products;
- Oil and gas products;
- Textile furnishings; and
- Upholstered furniture.
In addition, manufacturers of cookware that utilize PFAS in either the handle of the cookware or any surface that will come into contact with food must “list the presence of PFAS chemicals on the product label of the cookware; and include a statement on the product label of the cookware that directs the consumer to a website with information about why PFAS chemicals were intentionally added to the product.” The cookware provisions would also become effective on January 1, 2024.
Implications To Businesses
It is of the utmost importance for businesses along the whole supply chain to evaluate their PFAS risk. Public health and environmental groups urge legislators to regulate these compounds. One major point of contention among members of various industries is whether to regulate PFAS as a class or as individual compounds. While each PFAS compound has a unique chemical makeup and impacts the environment and the human body in different ways, some groups argue PFAS should be regulated together as a class because they interact with each other in the body, thereby resulting in a collective impact. Other groups argue that the individual compounds are too diverse and that regulating them as a class would be over restrictive for some chemicals and not restrictive enough for others.
Companies should remain informed so they do not get caught off guard. Regulators at both the state and federal level are setting drinking water standards and notice requirements of varying stringency, and states are increasingly passing PFAS product bills that differ in scope. For any manufacturers, especially those who sell goods interstate, it is important to understand how those various standards will impact them, whether PFAS is regulated as individual compounds or as a class. Conducting regular self-audits for possible exposure to PFAS risk and potential regulatory violations can result in long term savings for companies and should be commonplace in their own risk assessment.
CMBG3 Law is following judicial, legislative, administrative, and scientific developments relating to PFAS. More information about the services we can provide, including risk assessments, to ensure your business is ready for any intersection with these substances can be found on our PFAS Litigation page.
Our attorneys have been at the forefront of PFAS issues, including giving presentations as to the future waves of litigation stemming from PFAS issues. For more information, please contact the Chair of our PFAS – Toxic Torts Team, John Gardella.