US EPA Amends SNURs for LCPFAC and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate Chemicals

The US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has published final significant new use rules (SNURs) relating to
long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate
chemicals. It also makes inapplicable the exemption for persons who import a
subset of LCPFAC chemicals as part of a surface coating on articles.

The Final Rule contains a number of
important changes relating to 40 CFR Part 721 ‘Significant New Uses of Chemical
Substances’. These include:

  • Amendment
    to §721.9582 ‘Certain perfluoroalkyl sulfonates’ – requires imported carpets
    containing the listed perfluoroalkyl sulfonates to submit a significant new use
    notice (SNUN)
  • Completely
    new requirements for SNUs under §721.10536 ‘Long-chain perfluoroalkyl
    carboxylate chemical substances’ – these SNUs relate to:

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or processing of LCPFAC chemicals in §721.10536(b)(1) for use as part of
carpets or to treat carpets (e.g. for use in the carpet aftercare market)

or processing of (20) LCPFAC chemicals in Table 1 to §721.10536(b)(2) for any
use after December 31, 2015

or processing of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts, including those
in Table 2 to §721.10536(b)(3), for any use

or processing of LCPFAC chemicals, except for the (20) LCPFAC chemicals in
Table 1 to §721.10536(b)(2), for any use other than the use already described
in sub-bullet point 1 above

  • Allowing
    LCPFAC chemicals, including the (20) LCPFAC chemicals in Table 1 of
    §721.10536(b)(2) as well as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and its salts,
    including those in Table 2 of §721.10536(b)(3), to be used in antireflective
    coatings, photoresists, or surfactants in photo microlithography and
    semiconductors or similar components of electronic or other miniaturized
    devices, without reporting as these are not considered as SNUs
  • Providing
    a list of specific LCPFAC chemicals as well as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
    and its salts with defined uses that are not considered as SNUs and will not be
    subject to reporting
  • Revokes
    SNUN exemptions for a person who imports the following:

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containing an LCPFAC chemical listed in §721.10536(b)(1)

with a surface coating containing an LCPFAC chemical in Table 1 to
§721.10536(b)(2) or PFOA and its salts, including those in Table 2 to

‘Article’ is defined in 40 CFR 704.3 as a
manufactured item which:

  • Is formed
    to a specific shape or design during manufacture
  • Has end
    use function(s) dependent in whole or in part upon its shape or design during
    end use
  • Has either
    no change of chemical composition during its end use or only those changes of
    composition which have no commercial purpose separate from that of the article,
    and that result from a chemical reaction that occurs upon end use of other
    chemical substances, mixtures, or articles; except that fluids and particles
    are not considered articles regardless of shape or design

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Examples of articles with a surface
coating may include:

  • Apparel
  • Automotive
  • Carpets
  • Electronic
  • Furniture
  • Outdoor

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The Final Rule was published in July 2020.
It requires persons to notify the EPA at least 90-days before commencing the
manufacture, import, or processing of LCPFAC and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate
chemicals for SNUs – December 24, 2020.

Notification will initiate an EPA
evaluation of the conditions of use in relation to the SNU. Manufacturing, importing,
or processing cannot commence until the outcome of the review and the
completion of any required actions.

Stakeholders should be aware this Final
Rule excludes ongoing use as these are not the subject to the SNUR.

It came into effect on September 25, 2020.

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EPA Issues Amended SNUR for LCPFAC and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate Chemicals

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For further information contact:

Hingwo Tsang

Global Information and Innovation Manager

Tel: (+852) 2774 7420



LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

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