EU proposal would ban 10,000 PFAS

February 7, 2023

Read the full article by Britt E. Erickson (C&EN)

"The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has unveiled a proposal that would ban the production, use, and sale of about 10,000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the European Union. The proposed ban, which includes time-limited exemptions for some PFAS uses, aims to keep the persistent chemicals out of the environment and reduce human health risks.

ECHA received the proposal in January from five EU countries—the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. If adopted, it would apply to all 27 EU countries.

PFAS are widely used to repel grease, water, and dirt in consumer products such as raincoats, fast food wrappers, frying pans, and cosmetics. Under the proposal, such uses would be prohibited 18 months after the ban enters into force. PFAS-free alternatives are available for those uses, ECHA says. But when PFAS-free alternatives are not available, such as in machinery used by the food industry and implantable medical devices, exemptions of 5 to 12 years may apply."