How many PFAS bans does it take to ban PFAS?

May 17, 2022

Read the full article by (ChemSec)

"Chemicals have – and largely continue to be – regulated one substance at a time. This is of course a slow and cumbersome process, especially when it comes to large chemical “families” like PFAS. However, steps are now being taken towards banning groups of chemicals with similar structure and properties collectively, which is of course a huge leap in the right direction.

PFAS is a group of around 5,000 man-made chemicals, consisting of highly fluorinated carbon molecules of various sizes. All PFAS have similar toxic characteristics: carcinogenic, endocrine-disrupting, and immunosuppressive, as well as being – the icing on this awful layer cake – mobile or bio-accumulative, and extremely persistent, hence the nickname “forever chemicals”.


The toxics that have taken more than 50 years to restrict

Although PFAS chemicals have been commercially produced since the 1950s, and their harmful properties have been known for decades, so far only a few of them are regulated at EU level. The first regulations came into force in 2006 and 2017 respectively, mainly targeting the PFAS chemicals PFOS and PFOA, commonly used in textiles, carpeting, paper, and – of course – teflon production."