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The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has been regulating new and existing chemicals for almost 50 years. Under the TSCA, the EPA was given broad authority to track the thousands of existing commercial chemicals and regulate any new chemicals before they enter the market.

The TSCA requires manufacturers that intend to use a chemical that is designated as a “significant new use” to notify the EPA at least 90 days before they manufacture, import or process the chemical for that use, i.e., the “significant new use rule” (SNUR). This pre-manufacture notice requirement gives the EPA the opportunity to evaluate the potential use and, if necessary, to place restrictions on the chemical or prohibit its use to manage any risks before they can occur.

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Yet another new horizon looms for PFAS litigation. Numerous PFAS claims, like those involving deceptive trade practices due to PFAS in food packaging, seldom withstand a motion to dismiss, but the emergence of a novel liability theory could expose corporations to PFAS litigation of a different sort.

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The risks associated with PFAS-containing materials are expanding into new areas, as litigation and regulatory enforcement actions continue to rise. Recent trends suggest that employers who provide fire protection gear to their employees and contractors may find themselves facing potential liabilities.

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Given the ubiquity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), new and different aspects of liability continue to trend. While many of the lawsuits involve allegations of environmental contamination or personal injury resulting from the impairment of public water systems, the landscape has expanded to other areas.

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