Friday, October 4, 2013

Import of harmful chemicals used in carpets to be restricted

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing a rule that will allow the agency to restrict imports of potentially harmful perfluorinated chemicals that could be used in carpets.

The regulation will require companies to report to EPA all new uses, including in domestic and imported products, of these chemicals once used for soil and stain resistance in carpets.

Imported carpets are under scrutiny
for perfluorinated chemicals.
These chemicals have been shown to persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in humans and animals – they represent a potential threat to American’s health.

This action follows the U.S. chemical industry’s voluntary phase out of these chemicals and a range of actions by EPA to address concerns with these chemicals.

“While this category of chemicals has largely been voluntarily phased out by the U.S. chemical industry and not in use in this country, they could still be imported in carpets. Today’s action will ensure that EPA has the opportunity to take action to restrict or limit the intended use, if warranted, for any new domestic uses or imports,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, in a press release.

“This action will also provide a level playing field for those companies who stepped up to cease the use of these chemicals in this country, while at the same time protecting the American public from exposure to these chemicals in imported carpet products.”

The final rule issued today, known as a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act, requires that anyone who intends to manufacture (including import) or process any long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic (LCPFAC) chemicals for use in carpets or carpet products submit a notification to EPA at least 90 days before beginning the activity, providing the agency with an opportunity to review and, if necessary, place limits on manufacturers or processors who intend to reintroduce or import products with these chemicals.

Today’s action is one of several EPA has taken to protect the public from perfluorinated chemicals.

Information on today’s final rule and other actions EPA has taken on perfluorinated chemicals can be found here.

Reduce chemical exposure at home and at work

Potentially harmful chemicals can leech out of carpets and other types of fabrics, wood veneer, electronics, office furniture and printers, even building materials and paint.
Granular activated carbon can remove
airborne chemicals, gases and fumes.

Good ventilation and air cleaning can help reduce exposure to these substances. Electrocorp offers versatile air cleaners for a variety of industrial and commercial applications.

The air cleaners remove airborne contaminants such as chemicals, gases, fumes, dust, particles, mold, bacteria, viruses and volatile organic compounds with a multistage air filter system that includes a heavy-duty activated carbon filter, HEPA and UV germicidal filtration.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and a free consultation.

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