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EU Announces Latest Updates on PFAS Restriction Proposal

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On April 15, 2024, Germany, as one of the five initiating countries of the European Union’s proposal to restrict perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (the other four countries include the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway), updated its assessment report based on the numerous comments collected during the six-month public consultation phase from March 22, 2023, to September 25, 2023. The assessment work was conducted by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), with the main updates as follows:

a. Identification of PFAS applications not assessed in the preliminary report and, where necessary, incorporation of these applications into existing sector assessments or the creation of new sector assessments.

b. Consideration of changes to other relevant EU regulations since the submission of the proposal, such as the revised EU Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (F-gas) Regulation, and the potential impacts of these changes on REACH Annex XIV.

c. Re-evaluation of information about PFAS alternatives based on public feedback, adjusting the exemptions and transition periods proposed as appropriate.

d. Assessment of the suitability of potential restriction measures other than bans, particularly considering new suggestions made during the public consultation period.

e. Update of the socio-economic impact assessment report, clarifying the trade-offs between different restriction measures to support the decision-making process of the drafting parties more effectively.

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Following the extensive public consultation period, the five European countries—Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway—will continue to process the information collected concerning the hazards and risks associated with PFAS throughout their lifecycle. This data will be used to update the proposal aimed at regulating these substances.

The further assessment of the proposal will be managed by the Scientific Committees on Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The authorities have committed to ensuring the quality of the assessment while also accelerating the process of updating PFAS regulations.

ECHA plans to submit its final opinion to the European Commission as soon as the necessary scientific reviews are completed. Once approved by the Commission, the final opinion will be made public. This step is crucial as it will inform the final decision-making process and potentially lead to the adoption of new regulations or amendments to existing ones concerning PFAS. These efforts reflect an ongoing commitment to improving public health and environmental safety across the EU, addressing the complex challenges posed by PFAS compounds.

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Source from CIRS

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