23 Feb 2022

FPP4EU will carefully look into ECHA’s restriction proposal on PFAS in firefighting foams in view of the wider PFAS restriction

ECHA has submitted a proposal to restrict the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in fire-fighting foams. The proposal is based on the results of an independent study, which concludes that Fluorinated fire-fighting foams are the cause of many cases of contamination in Europe, both of soil and drinking water.

FPP4EU, a Cefic Sector Group, represents producers, importers and users of Fluoroproducts and PFAS. FPP4EU understands and supports the need for balanced regulatory action on PFAS to protect human health and the environment. The risk assessment introduced in the PFAS firefighting restriction proposal takes a grouping approach. While we understand the need for regulatory grouping, it is important to ensure that the groupings are sufficiently granular to address the different hazard profiles of PFAS. It will be important that adequate transition periods are put in place in cases where there is no technological alternative or there is a need to assure high safety standards, such as high temperature, chemical and oil fires.

Consequences for the wider restriction

FPP4EU will now investigate which aspects of today’s proposal are applicable to the wider PFAS restriction, especially in terms of the grouping approach and the risk assessment. There are many more applications to be covered, affecting a multitude of downstream sectors.

To jointly come to a final regulatory measure which is science-informed, implementable, and enforceable, FPP4EU calls for collaboration and constructive dialogues with all EU stakeholders – from policymakers to downstream users – to be able to address health and environmental concerns whilst ensuring that safe and critical applications of PFAS remain available for the future of Europe.

With this, FPP4EU welcomes the opportunity provided by the delay of the wider PFAS restriction proposal until January 2023. It allows more time to discuss the complexity of the file, understand the implications of the proposed scope, gather data together with FPP4EU’s downstream user platform, and support the 5 Competent Authorities to develop their dossiers.