In a major development, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has today 7th Feb 2023 published its proposal to ban PFASs.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a large class of thousands of synthetic chemicals in common use. They are increasingly detected as environmental pollutants and some are linked to negative effects on human health.
ECHA states as they all contain carbon-fluorine bonds, which are one of the strongest chemical bonds in organic chemistry, it means that they resist degradation when used and also in the environment. Most PFASs are also easily transported in the environment covering long distances away from the source of their release.
ECHA states that PFASs have been frequently observed to contaminate groundwater, surface water and soil. In addition, cleaning up polluted sites is technically difficult and costly. And so, if releases continue, they will continue to accumulate in the environment, drinking water and food.
Information about the ECHA proposal and ECHA’s next steps are here.