Chemicals like Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (“DDT”) and Chlorofluorocarbons (“CFCs”) that seemed invaluable to human society were eventually phased out and banned after their negative effects were discovered. Moving forward, Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) must be added to this list. The current phase out rate is moving too slowly, increasing eventual remediation costs, and negative health effects in people exposed. This paper examines the different approaches the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and recent California statutes are taking in addressing PFAS pollution. Despite the acknowledgement of the problem, without an international treaty to phase out PFAS, PFAS contamination will continue to burden future generations in distant nations from where the chemical was created. An aggressive international chemical regulatory mechanism largely based on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH”) is required to successfully prevent expensive remediation costs like that of PFAS.
PFAS: A Case Study on its Current Costs and How to Regulate Toxic Chemicals in the Future, 27 Hastings Envt'l L.J. 201
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_environmental_law_journal/vol27/iss2/8