Dec 27, 2019

European Countries to Phase Out Toxic PFAS Chemicals

European countries have announced a plan to phase out toxic PFAS chemicals by 2030. 

pfas water quality

Environmental officials from Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark announced a plan to restrict all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds under Europe’s chemical regulations framework. 

The announcement came one day after the submission of a document to the European Commission that lays out a strategy to phase out most uses of PFAS compounds by 2030, according to the Intercept. This also comes after the commission proposed a drinking water standard for the entire class of chemicals.

The document calls for Europe to eliminate all uses of PFAS that are not “essential.” It also aims to approach the chemicals as a group rather than individually, reported the Intercept. The European Commission recommends regulating PFAS as a group rather than individually as a time-saving measure.

The document asserts that the chemicals harm people, while also noting that the contaminants will be extremely expensive to clean up in the environment. The costs of removal of PFAS chemicals from drinking water and ground water in Europe has been estimated at 10 to 20 billion Euros over 20 years, according to the Intercept.

The regulatory plan also details possible measures to effectively restrict the chemicals, including REACH, the EU’s chemical regulation framework. 

“A broad restriction under REACH covering all PFAS would be the preferred option,” said the commission

The report was sent to European Commission officials by ministers from Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden, and was accompanied by a letter of support from environmental officials in Austria, Germany, Finland and Italy. 

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