WASHINGTON (Jan. 26) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching a global stewardship program inviting manufacturers of fluoropolymers to reduce usage and emissions of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, by 95 percent by 2010 and 100 percent by 2015.
The EPA also plans to add PFOA and related chemicals to its Toxic Release Inventory to help monitor the results of the stewardship program. PFOA is an essential processing aid in the manufacture of fluoropolymers, which are used in the production of Teflon and other non-stick and stain-resistant surfaces.
While the agency has not demonstrated that PFOA is a human carcinogen, it said the results of animal studies have caused concern about its possible effects on humans. Susan B. Hazen, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, said Du Pont Co., the largest manufacturer of fluoropolymers, has already begun a program to eliminate PFOA.
She added that she hoped other manufacturers would quickly follow suit. March 1 is the deadline for comments to the agency on the stewardship program.