ECHA received proposals to restrict PFAS chemicals in Europe

8 Feb 2023

On 12th January 2023, ECHA received PFAS restriction proposals from Germany, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden authorities in line with the EU’s Chemicals Strategy. The main goal is to reduce PFAS emissions into the atmosphere and make sure that the products are safe to use.

The polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are available on ECHA’s website and they are currently reviewing and evaluating these proposals with respect to the environmental impact and risks caused to people.

The environment, animals, and people will be affected if their releases are not restricted. If the PFASs are not restricted, 4.4 million tonnes of PFASs will be released into the environment.

ECHA’s director said “Currently, there are five authorities working towards zero pollution plans with the agreement of the EU’s chemicals strategy. The scientific committees will begin their evaluation but evaluating thousands of substances poses many challenges”.

ECHA’s scientific committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) will start reviewing these proposals and checking if they satisfy the requirements of REACH. If it meets their requirements, they will start the evaluation process at the upcoming meeting in March 2023.

RAC will provide an opinion on the proposals with respect to the reduction of risks to the environment and people’s health. The SEAC’s opinions will also be considered based on the costs incurred by society. Both committees’ opinions will be considered and will be sent to the European Commission who decides to restrict.

Below are the next steps for PFAS restriction proposals:

  • 13th Jan 2023 – Restriction Proposal Submitted to ECHA
  • 7th Feb 2023 – Proposal made available on ECHA’s website
  • 22nd Mar 2023 – Start of a six-month open consultation
  • 5th Apr 2023 – Online information session
  • ECHA committees’ evaluation
  • ECHA’s committees adopt their opinions
  • Opinions of ECHA’s committees sent to the European Commission

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