US: SB 273-Maryland bans PFAS in several consumer products

Vol. 1301 | May 10, 2022

On April 21, 2022, the SB 273- ‘Environment – PFAS Chemicals – Prohibitions and Requirements’ bill to regulate Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in several categories of consumer products was approved by Governor Larry Hogan. 

Following the demise of Maryland firefighter George “Walter” Taylor in 2020, who died of cancer attributed to PFAS exposure from his occupational Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), there have been several initiatives to limit PFAS use in Maryland. One such initiative is the SB 273, also known as the George “Walter” Taylor Act). Beginning January 1, 2024, the law will ban the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of carpets and rugs, food packages, and Class B fire-fighting foams that contain intentionally added PFAS chemicals.

Following is a summary of the additional requirements, in addition to the prohibition specified above, of this law. 

Scope

Overview of Additional Requirements

Penalty for violation

Food packaging

  • Manufacturers are required to establish a certificate of compliance (CoC) to demonstrate compliance. 

 

 

Rugs and Carpets

  • Second-hand rugs and carpets are exempted. 
  • Manufacturers must provide a certificate of compliance (CoC) to demonstrate compliance within 30-days of request by the department. 
  • First violation – civil penalty not exceeding $500. 
  • Second and subsequent violations – civil penalty not exceeding $1000. 

Class B firefighting foam

  • Permits for use in airports, ports, refineries, or chemical plants until September 30, 2024.
  • Permits for use in terminals until December 31, 2027.
  • Permits for use by applicable dates outlined in federal laws which require the Class B firefighting foam to contain intentionally added PFAS.
  • Prohibits the disposal of foam using certain specified methods and establishing processes for the department to take back Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS.
  • If PPE (including jackets, pants, shoes, gloves, helmets, and respiratory equipment) must contain PFAS, a statement specifying the inclusion of PFAS and justifying reasons should be provided.

Not Applicable

“PFAS chemicals” are defined by the bill as when used in fire-fighting agents, fire-fighting equipment, food packaging, and rugs and carpets, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals that contain at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom, including perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances

“Rug or carpet” means a thick fabric used to cover a floor including:

  1. Commercial or residential broadloom carpet; and
  2. A pad or an underlayment is used in conjunction with a carpet.

“Food package” means a package that is designed and intended for direct food contact and is composed, in substantial part, of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers, including:

  1. A food or beverage product that is contained in a food package or to which a food package is applied;
  2. A packaging component of a food package; AND  
  3. Plastic disposable gloves used in commercial or institutional food service.  

The SB273 can be viewed at https://legiscan.com/MD/text/SB273/id/2578369/Maryland-2022-SB273-Chaptered.pdf.

Intertek’s robust quantitative analysis methods are based on international and local standards and/or regulations. Simply contact us to connect with our experts and to learn more about our testing capabilities. 

For questions, please contact Harini Ramaswamy (harini.ramaswamy@intertek.com, +1 224-318-0220), Matthew Nudell (mattew.nudell@intertek.com, +1-716-225-9006), or Pratik Ichhaporia (pratik.ichhaporia@intertek.com, +1 847 212 8273). 

 

 

Related topics: 2022 | Apparel and Accessories | Soft Home Furnishings