Read the full article by David Frulla, Joseph Green, Sabrina Morelli, Lauren Shah, Bret Sparks (JD Supra)
“California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Safer Clothes and Textiles Act (AB 1817) (the ‘Act’) into law on September 29, 2022. The Act bans per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (‘PFAS’) in textiles. The textile, clothing, and leather goods industries will see industry-wide changes as manufacturers, distributors, and sellers prepare for a partial ban to take effect on January 1, 2025, followed by a stricter ban in 2027. As with other California state requirements, such as Proposition 65, California’s PFAS ban has implications for the textile industry across the country and around the world…
…For its part, the Act prohibits the manufacture, distribution, or sale of textiles in the state of California that contain PFAS above a permitted threshold (as discussed below). Under the new law, ‘textiles’ include any item made in whole or part from a natural, manmade, or synthetic fiber, yarn, or fabric, including leather, cotton, silk, jute, hemp, viscose, nylon, or polyester. The PFAS ban includes textiles used in apparel, accessories, handbags, backpacks, draperies, shower curtains, furnishings, upholstery, beddings, towels, napkins, and tablecloths.
Beginning on January 1, 2025, the manufacture, sale, or distribution of any textiles containing more than 100 parts per million (‘ppm’) of PFAS will be prohibited in California. This threshold will be lowered to 50 ppm on January 1, 2027.
Keeping in mind this timeframe, manufacturers, sellers, and importers of textiles, including converted textiles and leather, should investigate the chemicals involved in manufacturing products for sale within the California market. This includes products that are manufactured outside of California, but destined for final sale in California.
Satisfying the Act’s thresholds may involve identifying, testing, and researching the potential hazards of replacement-chemicals that serve as the functional equivalent for PFAS for certain leather treatment purposes such as protectant, spot removal, or water repellant. The Act requires that manufacturers use the ‘least toxic alternative’ when replacing PFAS from products implicated pursuant to the Act, and to provide retailers and distributers a signed certificate of compliance with the Act.
The Act exempts from the ban the manufacture, distribution, and sale of treatments containing PFAS for use on converted textiles or leathers, some of which are currently regulated pursuant to California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations. Treatments containing PFAS are defined as ‘any product containing PFAS placed into commerce in California that may be marketed or sold for the purpose of eliminating dirt or stains from carpets, rugs, clothing, shoes, upholstery, or other converted textiles and leathers; or repelling stains, dirt, oil, or water from carpets, rugs, clothing, shoes, upholstery, or other converted textiles and leathers.’ While the California Legislature did not provide reasoning for this exemption, the implication is that the use of these products will likely decline.”…