European PFAS ban moves closer

European PFAS ban moves closer

European PFAS ban moves closerThe Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden have submitted a proposal to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to ban the production, marketing and use of PFAS.

The ban on PFAS should be included in the European Union’s REACH regulation on chemical substances. ECHA will publish the detailed proposal, one of the most comprehensive in EU history, on Feb. 7. The five countries have identified risks in the manufacture, marketing and use of PFAS. These are currently not adequately controlled and should be addressed throughout the EU, as well as in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (together the European Economic Area), the countries said. Dutch water authorities have long called for a complete ban on PFAS.


Accumulated evidence

Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have been working together on a proposal for a European PFAS ban since 2019. Over the past three years, the five countries have researched different types of PFAS, their uses and the risks they may pose to humans and the environment. They held two public hearings to gather information on the use of these substances and reviewed all information received.


Next steps

ECHA’s Scientific Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socioeconomic Analysis (SEAC) will consider in March whether the proposed restriction meets the legal requirements of REACH. If it does, the committees will begin scientific evaluation of the proposal. A six-month consultation period begins March 22. An online information session on April 5 will explain the restriction process to interested parties who wish to participate in the consultation.

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More time may be needed

RAC and SEAC opinions are typically prepared within one year of the start of the scientific evaluation, as required by the REACH regulation. However, given the complexity of the proposal and the amount of information expected from the consultation, the committees may need more time to finalize their opinions. Once adopted, the opinions will be forwarded to the European Commission, which will then work with EU member states to decide on a possible PFAS ban.


Media event

Before ECHA can publish the five countries’ proposal, the agency must first carry out the necessary administrative checks. On February 7, following the publication, the five countries will organize a hybrid media event in Brussels.

Source: Waterforum
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