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einermehr Jul 06, 2020 05:57 PM

It has been known for 10 years that the chemical lobby contaminates us with per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). It has now become known that children across Europe have so much poison in their blood that it is no longer safe. The poison is in outdoor jackets, coffee mugs, carpets and textiles, and the EU does nothing about it. Why? Have our children become so unimportant?
Replies (1)
EEA Jul 07, 2020 10:42 AM
Dear M. ‘einermehr’,

Thank you for contacting the European Environment Agency (EEA).

As highlighted in our recently published briefing entitled "Emerging chemical risks in Europe — ‘PFAS’", measures to reduce PFAS pollution are in place, mainly addressing well-known PFAS substances and their precursors. PFOS and PFOA are listed under Annex A of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), implying that parties to the Convention should ‘eliminate the production and use’ of the chemicals.

At EU level, PFOS is restricted under the EU POPs Regulation. PFOA and its precursors are currently restricted under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, including their presence in products made or imported into the EU. This will soon be replaced by a new restriction under the POPs Regulation, which will have more limited derogations, following a decision taken at the Stockholm Convention.

A number of other PFAS are on the REACH list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs). In June 2019, GenX (a short-chain PFAS substitute for PFOA in fluoropolymer production) was the first chemical added to the SVHC list on the basis of its persistent, mobile and toxic properties posing a threat to drinking water and the environment. Several PFAS are on the Community Rolling Action Plan for evaluation over the coming years. As mentioned above, PFOA and PFOS are priority hazardous substances under the Water Framework Directive.

Across Europe, several countries have been active in monitoring PFAS in environmental media as well as in humans and products. Some countries have set national limit values for water and soil (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden), for textiles (Norway) and for food contact materials (Denmark). Several EU Member States have set drinking water limits for specific PFAS and for groups of PFAS. In June 2019, Denmark announced a ban on PFAS-treated food contact materials, to enter into force in 2020.

Please see the full briefing at: https://www.eea.europa.eu/[…]/emerging-chemical-risks-in-europe

We would also suggest you to consult the PFAS page of the European Chemical Agency that contains a podcast and other key documents on this matter. Please see: https://echa.europa.eu/[…]/perfluoroalkyl-chemicals-pfas

Should you have any specific question on the EEA briefing, please do not hesitate to get back to us. For further information on legislative measures taken at EU level on PFAS, please contact the European Commission via its online service: https://europa.eu/european-union/contact_en

We hope that this may be useful for you.

With kind regards,
EEA Enquiry Service

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