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ECHA’s committees: EU-wide PFAS ban in firefighting foams warranted

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ECHA’s Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) has adopted its final opinion supporting a gradual ban on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams. The restriction could reduce PFAS emissions into the environment by around 13 200 tonnes over 30 years.

Helsinki, 22 June 2023 – SEAC considers that the proposed restriction on the placing on the market, use and formulation of PFAS in firefighting foams is the most appropriate EU-wide measure to address the identified risks. This takes into account available alternatives and the balance between the restriction’s benefits and costs to society. These conclusions follow an opinion on the risks adopted by ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) in March 2023.

SEAC suggests, however, that a review of available fluorine-free alternatives for sites that produce, treat or store dangerous substances (covered by the Seveso Directive) and those neighbouring them is carried out before the end of the 10-year transition period. Similarly, a review would be needed for uses at offshore installations in the oil and gas industry, where SEAC is recommending to lengthen the transition period from five to 10 years. The committee considers the reviews important to maintain safety where fires may have high impacts on the environment and human health.


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