12 Sep 2022

Blind scientific review on PFAS grouping

On 25 July, a group of twelve independent researchers published a blind scientific review on the grouping of PFAS for human health risk assessment. In the highlights of the article, the researchers unanimously considered that lack of information on the majority of PFAS presents many challenges for human health risk assessment. Furthermore, the majority of researchers agreed that persistence alone is not sufficient to group PFAS in the assessment of their risk posed to humans and that it is inappropriate to assume equal toxicity and potency for all compounds without “confirmatory information”. On 28 July, Chemical Watch reported that the American Chemistry Council (ACC) was the main donor for the study and that it assured the scientists were not informed – hence its labelling as “blind” – until the end of the review process. 

Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany are working on a proposal for a REACH restriction on PFAS. These 5 Competent Authorities will assess the hundreds of PFAS targeted by the restriction, which have very different properties and applications. To support decision making, FPP4EU members are compiling an overview of the toxicity of around 20 commonly used PFAS to show how chemically, physically, toxicologically and ecotoxicologically different PFAS are. We have also developed a decision tree whose elements may help authorities determine whether a PFAS would need to be phased out for which uses and which PFAS should be kept in their vital applications. It remains an ongoing commitment for our industry to meet or exceed all applicable health, safety, and environmental regulations and standards.