Lawsuit accuses EPA of withholding ‘forever chemicals’ data

By Ellie Borst | 02/15/2024 04:17 PM EST

Two environmental groups say the information from plastics company Inhance contains critical public health data.

Illustration with plastic bottles and PFAS compounds.

Plastics company Inhance Technologies uses a controversial fluorination process that unintentionally creates PFAS on up to 200 million plastic barrels each year. Claudine Hellmuth/POLITICO (illustration); National Academies Press (chemical compounds); Fertnig/iStock (pesticide bottles); Freepik (green bottle)

Two advocacy groups are suing EPA over claims it withheld data regarding the risks of “forever chemicals” in millions of fluorinated plastic barrels.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, accuses the agency of illegally protecting extensive testing results as confidential business information.
lawsuit, filed Wednesday

At issue is Houston-based plastics company Inhance Technologies’ fluorination process, which coats the insides of plastic containers to make them more durable. As an unintended byproduct, the process also creates cancer-causing PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which leach from the coating into the substance the container holds.


Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Center for Environmental Health, the two groups that brought the lawsuit, traced instances of PFAS contamination back to Inhance’s fluorination process in 2020, a discovery EPA later confirmed.
traced instances