Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, and Sweden are calling upon the EU to develop an action plan by 2025 that would completely replace the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by 2030. PFAS harm the environment and pose a hazard to human health. According to Chemical Watch, the countries formulated their appeal in a letter to EU Commissioners and Frans Timmermans, the vice president of the EU Commission for the Green Deal, the EU climate program.
The authors wrote that the current method of assessing substances must end. Instead of evaluating individual per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – and there are more than 4,700 of them – the entire group of PFAS should be examined as a whole, according to the principle of “one substance, one evaluation”. That means that chemical groups should be evaluated according to the same standard in all chemical regulations, which has not been the case so far. For example, different regulations apply to pesticides and biocides, cosmetics, and water quality, so that the chemicals are assessed differently.
The Netherlands will prepare a restriction proposal in 2020, based on the science of the report prepared by the German Environmental Agency.
During a public meeting of the EU Environment Council on December 19, Stientje van Veldhoven, the Netherlands environment minister, told the audience that PFAS should be taken off the market as quickly as possible, which would start making use of the substances unnecessary.
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