The U.S. EPA has ordered Inhance Technologies LLC to cease production of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) in its process of fluorinating high-density plastic containers (HDPE). This order will take effect on December 1, 2023. According to the EPA, Inhance’s fluorination process enhances the barrier properties of plastic containers, but produces nine different types of PFAS.
Containers made of fluorinated HDPE are used to store household products, pesticides and industrial goods. In 2019, the drinking-water of Easton, Massachusetts tested positive for the PFOA type of PFAS. This was traced back by the state to a bugicide used by officials. In September 2020, the EPA determined that the PFAS found in the mosquitocide emanated from the product’s HDPE plastic container, which was fluorinated by Inhance. EPA determined that PFOA as well as other PFAS chemicals found in containers fluorinated By Inhance, can migrate to liquid products.
According to the EPA Inhance fluoridated up to 200 millions HDPE containers per year. Inhance was given a period of five years to report the production of PFAS long-chain as part of its manufacturing processes. The EPA published a notice in March 2022.