German Environment Agency Warns About Persistent and Mobile Substances in Water

Persistent, mobile, and toxic (PTM) substances along with persistent and very mobile (vPvM) substances are found in the environment much more often than previously thought. The German Federal Environment Agency announced this finding in a press release. In part, the agency based its findings on a study that analyzed samples from 13 drinking water catchment areas in Germany. In addition to the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – already the subject of criticism – the scientists also detected numerous other PMT and vPvM substances, such as 1H-benzotriazole, 1,4-dioxane, cyanuric acid, and melamine. These substances are problematic because common filter technologies in wastewater treatment plants cannot remove them from water, so they ultimately end up in drinking water.

The UBA report is also causing a stir because almost a quarter of all REACH-registered chemicals found in water sources exhibit PMT and vPvM properties. According to the agency’s assessment, however, the hazard potential is likely to be many times higher because the lack of data makes any assessment of PMT/vPvM impossible for 40% of the substances registered under REACH.

This situation sends a clear message to affected companies. They should ensure the legal safety of their products early on. The EU Commission is introducing new hazard classes, including classes for PMT and vPvM substances in Regulation (EU) 2023/707, which points the way forward.

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact us at

Share This Post

Post Navigation