US: California- AB-1817 Product Safety: Textile Articles: Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Vol. 1322 | September 16, 2022

California has previously taken initiatives to prohibit the distribution, sale, or offer of food packaging and juvenile products that contain regulated Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) beginning Jan 1, 2023, with additional requirements for manufacturers to use the least toxic alternative when replacing PFAS in food packaging.

Similarly, the AB-1817 bill passed on Aug 20, 2022, will prohibit the regulated PFAS in new textile articles. Beginning Jan 1, 2025, the manufacture, distribution, and sale of any new textile articles that contain regulated PFAS will be prohibited in the state of California. It is recommended manufacturers should use the least toxic alternative when removing regulated PFAS in textile articles. Further, the manufacturer of textile articles will also be required to provide a Certificate of Compliance to the retailer or distributor offering products for sale in the State of California to confirm the absence of any regulated PFAS. The Certificate of Compliance must be signed by an authorized official of the manufacturer and can be furnished electronically.

The bill provides an extension for outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions, for which the prohibition on sale will become effective from Jan 1, 2028. However, starting Jan 1, 2025, the sale or distribution of new apparel containing PFAS is not permitted unless it is accompanied by a legible and easily discernible disclosure with the statement “Made with PFAS chemicals,” and this includes adding the disclosure to online product listings.


PFAS substances are known for being a bioaccumulate and toxin, posing risk for adverse effects on human health, such as kidney and liver damage, decreased immune system function, interference with vaccine uptake, developmental and reproductive harm, increased risk of asthma, and increased testicular and kidney cancer. The above infographic shows how clothing with PFAS finishing can contaminate water sources.

Definitions used in this legislation are given below:

  • “Apparel” means any of the following:
    • Clothing items intended for regular wear or formal occasions, including, but not limited to, undergarments, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, overalls, bodysuits, costumes, vests, dancewear, suits, saris, scarves, tops, leggings, school uniforms, leisurewear, athletic wear, sports uniforms, everyday swimwear, formal wear, onesies, bibs, diapers, footwear, and everyday uniforms for workwear. Clothing items intended for regular wear or formal occasions not include personal protective equipment or clothing items for exclusive use by the United States military.
    • Outdoor apparel.
    • Outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions.
  • "Manufacturer" means either of the following:
    • A person or entity who manufactures the designated product and whose name appears on the product label.
    • A person or entity who the product is manufactured for or distributed by, as identified on the product label pursuant to the federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.
  • “Outdoor apparel” means clothing items intended primarily for outdoor activities, including, but not limited to, hiking, camping, skiing, climbing, bicycling, and fishing.
  • “Outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions” means outdoor apparel that are extreme and extended use products designed for outdoor sports experts for applications that provide protection against extended exposure to extreme rain conditions or against extended immersion in water or wet conditions, such as from snow, in order to protect the health and safety of the user and that are is not marketed for general consumer use. Examples of extreme and extended use products include outerwear for offshore fishing, offshore sailing, whitewater kayaking, and mountaineering.
  • “Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances” or “PFAS” means a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.
  • “Personal protective equipment” means equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses that may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, biological, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace or professional hazards.
  • “Regulated perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS” means either of the following:
    • PFAS that a manufacturer has intentionally added to a product and that have a functional or technical effect in the product, including the PFAS components of intentionally added chemicals and PFAS that are intentional breakdown products of an added chemical that also have a functional or technical effect in the product.
    • The presence of PFAS in a product or product component at or above the following thresholds, as measured in total organic fluorine:
      1. Commencing January 1, 2025, 100 parts per million.
      2. Commencing January 1, 2027, 50 parts per million.
  • “Textile” means any item made in whole or part from a natural, manmade, or synthetic fiber, yarn, or fabric, and includes, but is not limited to, leather, cotton, silk, jute, hemp, wool, viscose, nylon, or polyester. “Textile” does not include single-use paper hygiene products, including, but not limited to, toilet paper, paper towels or tissues, or single-use absorbent hygiene products. For purposes of this subdivision, “single use” has the same meaning as in Section 42041 of the Public Resources Code.
  • (1) “Textile articles” means textile goods of a type customarily and ordinarily used in households and businesses, and include, but are not limited to, apparel, accessories, handbags, backpacks, draperies, shower curtains, furnishings, upholstery, beddings, towels, napkins, and tablecloths.
    (2) “Textile articles” does not include any of the following:
    • Any of the following items regulated under the Safer Consumer Products Program (Chapter 55 (commencing with Section 69501) of Division 4.5 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations):
      1. Carpets and rugs.
      2. Treatments containing PFAS for use on converted textiles or leathers.
    • A vehicle, as defined in Section 670 of the Vehicle Code, including, but not limited to, an off-highway motor vehicle, as defined in Section 38012 of the Vehicle Code, or its component parts.
    • A vessel, as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, or its component parts, such as boat covers.
    • Filtration media and filter products used in industrial applications, including, but not limited to, chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturing, and environmental control technologies.
    • Textile articles used in or for laboratory analysis and testing.
    • An aircraft, as defined in Section 21012 of the Public Utilities Code, or its component parts.
    • Stadium shades or other architectural fabric structures. For purposes of this subparagraph, “architectural fabric structure” means a permanent fabric structure that is intrinsic to a building’s design or construction.

The AB-1817 can be accessed using the following link: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB1817&firstNav=tracking.

For questions, please contact Harini Ramaswamy (harini.ramaswamy@intertek.com, +1 847-871-1047) or Pratik Ichhaporia (pratik.ichhaporia@intertek.com , +1 847 212 8273).

 

 

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