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Why are PFAS a concern and why do they need to be controlled?
How much PFAS-based firefighting foam is produced in the EU?
Are there any alternatives to PFAS foams?
How much PFAS ends up in the environment from their use in firefighting foams?
Can you give an example of environmental contamination from the use of PFAS firefighting foams in the EU?
Does banning all PFAS in firefighting foams compromise fire safety?
How does the wider proposal to restrict PFAS relate to this one and why were they not done at the same time?
What are the next steps for this restriction?
6 month consultation starting 23 March 2022.
Protecting our drinking water and food – EU restriction of PFAS in firefighting foams
In this episode, we speak with Peter van der Zandt, ECHA’s Risk Management Director about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS in short.
These so-called ‘forever chemicals’ are a family of over 4 000 synthetic chemicals that have been and continue to be widely used by society. The problem though is that their use has resulted in worldwide environmental pollution and human exposure.
They are called forever chemicals because they resist degradation, and some can be easily transported in the environment. Some of them have also been shown to be harmful to both people and the environment.
The EU’s Chemicals Strategy puts PFAS policy front and centre. The Commission commits to phasing out all PFAS, allowing their use only where they are proven essential to society.
As part of this work, ECHA proposes to restrict all PFAS used in firefighting foams. Another restriction proposal is in the making by five European countries that covers PFAS in any other use – for example in product packaging, cosmetic products, and non-stick kitchenware.
This episode takes a deep dive into PFAS used in firefighting foams and how the EU is preparing to restrict them.
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Disclaimer: Views expressed by interviewees do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Chemicals Agency. All content is up to date at the time of publication.
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