PFAS: Where a step forward shouldn't be a step backwards.

News · · ·

PFASs are ubiquitous. In and around you. People and industry are in a constant state of alert with news of PFAS in cosmetics, PFAS in drinking water and PFAS in blood. A truly differentiated view of the problem is in short supply. Last year, we detailed the restriction process and impending PFAS ban. The consultation phase, in which we and almost 4,500 other companies took part, ended at the end of September 2023. In total, the European Chemicals Agency [ECHA] received more than 5,500 comments, including more than a total of 3,500 together from Sweden, Germany and Japan alone.

A proper review of the flood of comments by the scientific committees will certainly take longer than originally planned. The committees for Risk Assessment [RAC] and Socio-Economic Analysis [SEAC] will evaluate the proposed restriction together with the comments in several meetings. The focus will be on the sectors that would be affected by the restriction. The committee meetings in the first half of the year will examine the following aspects:

March 2024

  • Consumer mixtures, cosmetics, and ski wax
  • Hazards of PFAS
  • General approach

June 2024

  • Metal plating and manufacture of metal products
  • Additional discussion on hazards

September 2024

  • Textiles, upholstery, leather, apparel, carpets
  • Food contact materials and packaging
  • Petroleum and mining

It is currently expected that a final opinion from ECHA will not be available until 2025 at the earliest. As the opinion provides a further opportunity for objections, a political decision by the European Commission and EU Member States and a resulting regulation is not expected until 2027/28.

In 2023, IDT founded the working group Technical Plastics in the Chemical Industry. Together with representatives from your industry, we are developing solutions. For issues of supply, alternative materials, efficient materials testing or release scenarios for new materials. What moves you moves us. And sustainable solutions can only be found through close cooperation and dialogue.

We currently look forward to a direct exchange with the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [BAuA] and a small group of selected industry experts, which will take place on April 30, 2024. The BAuA is leading the push to restrict all PFAS. Therefore, the meeting is a unique opportunity to make our perspective visible. To explain why the one-size-fits-all approach would have serious consequences. To show that fluoropolymers [e.g. PTFE, PFA, FEP] are essential for critical applications and in future technologies. To argue for a differentiation of substances according to their properties, toxicological profile and essential uses.

Our Experts

Jörg Skoda
Jörg Skoda Senior Head of Applications Engineering
Stefan Schulz
Stefan Schulz Head of Applications Engineering & Product Development