Pfas is used, among other things, in pans with a non-stick coating
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 13:43
Together with four other European countries, the Netherlands has submitted a proposal to ban 10,000 different poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs). The proposal was announced two years ago. Pfas substances are harmful to health and the environment.
Pfas is a collective name for about 10,000 chemical substances that are dirt-repellent, water-repellent and fire-resistant. Because of these properties, they are used for many products: from raincoats and non-stick pans to fire extinguishing foam.
But pfas can build up in the body. The functioning of the immune system can be reduced and the substances may have an effect on reproduction and the unborn child. Some substances from the pfas group are suspected carcinogens and the substances do not or hardly break down in the environment.
Decision in 2025
Some pfas, such as pfos and pfoa, are already banned. The proposal from the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway is intended to ban all pfas at once. This should prevent one pfas substance in a product from being replaced by another.
The European Commission is not expected to make a decision on the proposal until 2025. In the coming period, stakeholders will still be given time to provide information to the Chemicals Agency (ECHA). After that, the agency can still decide to change points in the proposal.
The ban should apply to the production, use, sale and import of pfas. If adopted, the proposal would be the largest ban on chemicals ever seen in Europe, according to ECHA.
‘Prohibition really necessary’
State Secretary Heijnen of Infrastructure and Water Management is pleased that the proposal has been made. “This ban is really necessary. Unnoticed, we now encounter pfas everywhere in our lives. It is in the soil, in our clothes and even in our body, while we know that it can be bad for us.”
She emphasizes that the pollution can only stop by banning it throughout Europe. “Water and air do not stop at the border. So a European ban will make more sense.”
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