Fujifilm announced today they will be discontinuing Fuji Velvia 100 in the United States markets because of a ruling by the US Environmental Protection Agency banning the sale, and production of Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate 3:1 (PIP 3:1). The EPA released their ruling March 8, 2021 but will not be enforced until September 5, 2021, giving companies time to adjust their use of the chemical accordingly.
In a notice on their website, Fujifilm says they oppose the ban affecting their film, which is comprised of less than 0.0003% PIP 3:1.
“A miniscule amount (less than 0.0003%) of PIP (3:1) is present within the layers of FUJICHROME Velvia 100 Professional films. Fujifilm believes that the trace amount of PIP (3:1) in the FUJICHROME Velvia 100 Professional films pose no risk to the environment,” they said in a banner on their website.
PIP 3:1 is classified as a bioaccumulative substance that is classified as a developmental toxicant. According to the EPA, the chemical is primarily used as a plasticizer, and as a flame retardant in textiles, rubber, polyurethane foam, antistatic agent, cellulose, cotton, cutting oils, electronic equipment such as video display units cables, casting resins, glues, engineering thermoplastics, epoxy resins, and phenolic resins.
In 2015 alone manufacturers in the USA produced and imported approximately 5.9 million lbs of PIP 3:1.
As after the ruling, PIP 3:1 is still permitted for use in military applications where there are no alternatives, as well as in airplane replacement parts, aerospace and marine air filters, and as a lubricant/grease until 2025. At this time, it is unclear if other countries around the world will begin to ban this product.
Fujifilm will continue to produce the Velvia 100, which will remain available in all other markets around the world, including Canada and Mexico. At this time, the ban also does not affect the rest of film in Fuji’s lineup, including Velvia 50.
“As a global leader in imaging, Fujifilm is committed to acting sustainably, and complying with all country regulations. As such, Fujifilm will discontinue FUJICHROME Velvia 100 Professional film in the U.S. effective immediately.”
Daren is a journalist and wedding photographer based in Vancouver, B.C. He’s been taking personal and professional photos on film since 2017 and began developing and printing his own photos after wanting more control than what local labs could offer.