Introduced by manufacturing companies in the 1940s, Per-and polyfluorinated substances (“PFAS”) which consist of a group of over 6,000 chemicals, have insidiously made their way into the bloodstream of humans and into the environment. These nearly indestructible, “forever chemicals” that were once thought to be safe for use in firefighting foams, cosmetics, food packaging, non-stick cookware, and water-resistant clothing, are now found to be toxic. PFAS have been found in animals, aquatic life, and natural resources, and are associated with illnesses in humans: PFAS have been linked to various cancers, reproductive issues in women, and birth defects in children. As research increases, additional long-term effects of exposure to PFAS may be revealed. Like many researchers, these concerns are shared by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”): the EPA has determined that Perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (“PFOS”), chemicals in the PFAS group, are a risk to public health and to the environment and has proposed that these chemicals be placed on the National Priorities List (“NPL”) as hazardous substances. Notwithstanding this proposal, EPA standards for PFAS uses have not been finalized. Even so, these federal guidelines do not prevent the states from placing restrictions on PFAS. Because PFAS have been found in most water sources, Florida is severely exposed to PFAS due to its coastal population and seafood production. To address the PFAS problem in Florida, on June 20, 2022, Florida it enacted a Statewide Cleanup of Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl Substances, Section 376.91 of Florida Statutes. This note first addresses the risk of using PFAS for people and the effects of PFAS on the economy and the environment of Florida. This note will then address the current state of regulations surrounding PFAS in Florida and in other states. Finally, this note will critique the Statewide Cleanup of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, Section 376.91 of Florida Statutes, and analyze it in comparison to other states’ statutes for its feasibility in preventing damages caused by PFAS.
Donald, A. Colleen. (2023) "Reversing Quiet Destruction: Florida's Attempt to Regulate PFAS Known As Forever Chemicals," Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ): Vol. 13 : Iss. 1 , Article 1.
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