16 October 2023


The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a proposal to ban PFAS from the environment. PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large class of thousands of synthetic chemicals that have been observed to contaminate groundwater, surface water and soil.
This proposal comes from some 5 Member States (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden) which are concerned over pollution risks.

Under the proposal, if the use of a (group of) PFAS or PFAS-containing products is not included in any of the listed derogations, it will be banned within 18 months after entry into force of the restriction. PFAS containing products already in use can continue to be used until end-of life. Problems may thus arise with replacement of equipment and / or its PFAS-containing spare parts.

EIGA take the issue very seriously: it is clear that use of PFAS in industrial settings (coating, gaskets, valves, membranes) are not sufficiently covered. However, alternatives to PFAS are not always possible.

ECHA asked stakeholders to provide input by 25 September 2023. EIGA’s ad hoc Group PFAS (AHG S.15) answered to the public consultation and finalised a document, describing the impact on different areas in our industry. An overview is given of the 5 main uses of PFAS, the key functionalities for each use, emissions per use, possible alternatives and conclusion remarks. ECHA received more than 5 600 comments.

In addition, EIGA and 14 other signatories have released a joint statement on the importance of fluoropolymers to the energy transition and the EU’s net zero industrial aspirations.
The signatories call on legislators to reassess the position of fluoropolymers within the PFAS restriction in favour of a rational, proportional, and differentiated approach that will not undermine the hundreds of billions of euros invested into European clean tech so far, and the crucial role these technologies will play in helping us to decarbonise our entire society. The letter has been sent to the cabinets of Commissioners Simson, Sinkevicius, Breton, and of EVP Šefčovič.