[Conference] OECD Global Forum on the Environment dedicated to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

February 12, 2024

PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a diverse group of chemicals that include PFCAs, PFOA, PFSAs, PFHxS, and thousands of others. These chemicals have been in commercial production since the 1950s and are now widely used in consumer and industrial applications. One characteristic of PFAS is their persistence in the environment, as they are extremely resistant to degradation. PFAS have emerged as contaminants of global concern because of their potential to accumulate in the human body and food chains.

During this two-day event, a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and academics, will come together to discuss various topics related to PFAS. These topics will cover areas such as country risk management approaches, innovation challenges for finding safer alternatives, effective risk communication strategies, monitoring techniques, waste management, and approaches to managing contamination.

The OECD has been actively involved in the risk management of PFAS for nearly two decades. In response to the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM 2) 2009 Resolution II/5, the joint OECD/UNEP Global PFC Group was established in 2012. This group aims to promote the development and implementation of national and international stewardship programs and regulatory approaches to reduce emissions and the presence of harmful perfluorinated chemicals in products. The OECD has played a key role in coordinating the efforts of this group, facilitating the exchange of information on PFAS, and supporting the global transition towards safer alternatives.

The outputs of these activities can be found on the OECD PFAS Portal.