ECHA opens consultation on PFAS restriction proposal

By Julia Wray | Published: 22-Mar-2023

The six-month consultation period closes 25 September 2023

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has today opened a six-month consultation on the proposed restriction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Closing 25 September 2023, the consultation provides the opportunity for anyone with information on PFAS to have their say.

It is inviting interested parties to send in scientific and technical information on the manufacture, placing on the market and use of PFAS.

According to the ECHA, information relevant to risks, socioeconomic ramifications and alternative substances is of particular interest.

The ECHA’s scientific committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) will use the consultation input to evaluate the proposed restriction and to form an opinion on it.

An online information session in English will be held on 5 April from 11:00 to 13:00 Helsinki time. 

What does the proposal look like?

The proposal covers the restriction of around 10,000 PFAS.

It was originally prepared by authorities in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden and submitted to ECHA on 13 January.

It aims to reduce PFAS emissions into the environment and make products and processes safer for people.

The five national authorities estimated that around 4.4 million tonnes of PFAS would end up in the environment over the next 30 years unless action is taken.

As PFAS don’t naturally degrade, they end up contaminating groundwater following their release into the environment.

Meanwhile, studies have linked certain PFAS to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, hypertension, thyroid disease, low birth weight and immunotoxicity in children.

The suggested restriction for PFAS in skin care, toiletries, hair care, perfumes and fragrances and decorative cosmetics is an RO1 ban (with an 18-month transition period) in light of ‘technically and economically faesible’ alternative materials already on the market.

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