The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that several manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used in certain types of food packaging had agreed to phase out the use of such chemicals over the next three years. The specific chemical, 6:2 Fluorotelomer alcohol (6:2 FTOH), is commonly used to grease-proof food packaging such as pizza boxes and fast-food wrappers.
This announcement came shortly after a recent study indicated that 6:2 FTOH may accumulate in humans who frequently eat foods wrapped in such packaging. The FDA concluded from animal studies that the potential health risks from FTOH 6:2 have been underestimated. The FDA said it will monitor the progress of the phase-out.
In addition to its studies on 6:2 FTOH, the FDA continues to evaluate the presence of PFAS in the general food supply. To date, the FDA concluded that essentially no food products contain detectable levels of PFAS. A few tests indicated detectable levels of PFOS, one of the more common PFAS compounds, in ground turkey and tilapia but the FDA concluded that the trace levels of PFOS were not yet a health concern to humans.
These are positive developments for consumers nationwide. Over the past several years, the public’s attention has rightly been focused on studying the extent of PFAS contamination of the nation’s drinking water. PFAS have been used in a variety of consumer products since the 1950s, so they are ubiquitous in the environment as well as in every person’s bloodstream. Our governmental agencies need to ensure the public is fully aware of the hazards these chemicals pose and where they could be exposed to them.
Beasley Allen lawyers in our Toxic Torts Section work to protect people and property from toxic chemicals and environmental pollution that results from negligence and wrongful conduct. Our lawyers are currently investigating PFAS and water contamination as a result of PFC chemicals. If you have any questions, contact Rhon Jones, Rick Stratton, or Ryan Kral, lawyers in the Section. We often represent state and municipal governments in litigation of this type.
Source: JD Supra
This story appears in the October 2020 issue of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.