The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has added perfluorooctanoic acid to the list of chemicals known to cause cancer under the requirements of the state’s Proposition 65. The OEHHA’s decision will require companies as well as both physical and online retailers selling products in California that contain PFOAs to comply with Prop 65’s strict warning label requirements.
Failure to do so could subject those companies and retailers to financial penalties as high as $2500 per violation per day. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), PFOAs represent a group of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. They do not break down over time, and persist in the environment, most notably in contaminated water sources.
The use of PFOAs is already restricted under the European Union’s Regulation 2020/784 which addresses the use of a broad range of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Prior to the OEHHA decision, PFOAs had previously been listed under California’s Prop 65 regulations as a substance associated with potential reproductive harm.