PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances), are extremely persistent in the environment. Their production and use has resulted in severe contamination of soil, water and food and harmful exposure to humans.
The Commission has outlined a comprehensive set of actions to address both the use of PFAS and the contamination they cause in the environment. To prevent further contamination, the actions aim to ensure in particular that the use of PFAS is phased out in the EU, unless it is proven essential for society.
The Commission will ban all PFAS as a group in fire-fighting foams as well as in other uses, allowing their use only where they are essential for society. The Commission will also address PFAS concerns on a global scale through the relevant international fora and in bilateral policy dialogues with third countries.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is developing a restriction dossier for all PFAS in firefighting foam. The dossier will be ready in October 2021. The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden have published their intention to prepare a restriction dossier on all PFAS under the REACH Regulation. The dossier will be ready in July 2022.
The Commission will also address PFAS with a group approach, under relevant legislation on water, sustainable products, food, industrial emissions, and waste. This includes
The Commission will provide financial support under research and innovation programmes to identify and develop innovative methodologies for remediating PFAS contamination in the environment and funding for safe innovations to substitute PFAS in products. The Commission has launched a call for proposals under the Green Deal call focused on remediation of contamination with persistent and mobile chemicals (including PFAS). Grant agreements are under preparation.
Commission Staff Working Document on PFAS, accompanying the Chemicals Strategy
European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) website on PFAS