The EU plans to prohibit the marketing, use, and export of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams. As a first step, the ECHA has now provided a proposal on how to limit the use of PFAS to protect water and soil in the future.
In their Annex XV Restriction Report for REACH, the authors argue that the risks of using PFAS are not sufficiently controlled. That’s why they call for substituting PFAS with alternative substances, although they also approve transition periods, depending on usage:
- 18 months of use for training and test purposes
- 18 months of use by communal fire departments
- 3 years of use for civilian ships
- 5 years of use in portable fire extinguishers
- 10 years of use in operations covered by the Seveso Directive
- 5 years for all other uses
Exceptions apply to individual situations as listed on pages 5–6 of the Restriction Report.
The ECHA is holding six months of public consultation on its proposal, beginning on March 23. Opinions of the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) and the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) are expected at the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023.
The ECHA is offering a Webinar on the topic on April 5.
If you have questions about PFAS and other substances whose use is restricted, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.