July 26, 2018

GenX: Recent Regulatory and Litigation Developments

Matthew R. Conley and Charles J. Dennen

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a category of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and GenX, among other chemicals. PFAS have been widely manufactured and used in numerous products in the United States since the 1940s.[i] In recent years, PFAS have emerged as a contaminant of concern at sites throughout the United States, leading to increased attention by regulators and the plaintiffs’ bar. As a follow-up to the recent article entitled PFAS Contamination Remains a Hot Button Issue: Overview of Recent Regulatory, Litigation, and Technical Developments, this article discusses the increasing focus on GenX, a more recent successor to PFOA and PFOS. This focus, which originates in North Carolina, has led to an influx of toxic tort and other litigation despite a lack of regulatory standards. As a result, the nascent effort to investigate and regulate GenX is occurring concurrently with litigation seeking damages associated with GenX—which, if allowed to continue, will inevitably influence the regulatory process.

Premium Content For:
  • Current ABA Member
Join - Now