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PFAS consultation receives over 5,600 comments

The European Chemicals Agency headquarters in Helsinki

FINLAND: The European proposals to restrict the use of PFAS chemicals have received more than 5,600 comments from more than 4,400 organisations, companies and individuals.

The comments received by the Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) during the six-month consultation period, which ended yesterday, will now be checked by ECHA’s scientific committees for risk assessment and socio-economic analysis. The ECHA says that only those providing relevant evidence-based information will be considered in the opinion making process.

The five countries who prepared the initial proposal – Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – will also review the consultation input and may update their initial proposal based on it.

The original proposal, which was submitted to the ECHA on 13 January, seeks a ban on PFAS substances under a definition that would include practically all HFC and HFO refrigerants, as well as the fluoropolymers used in a number of critical refrigeration components. These components include vital gaskets and other sealing systems, electrical and electronic components, and wear-resistant coatings. 

Next steps

Following evaluation, the ECHA committees will develop their independent, scientific opinions over a series of meetings, where draft opinions are discussed. The ECHA insists that attention will be given to all aspects and impacted sectors.

The ECHA says it will deliver the final opinions to the European Commission “in the shortest possible timeframe, while ensuring proper scrutiny by the scientific committees”. 

Related stories:

EPEE seeks PFAS exemption for F-gases25 September 2023
BELGIUM: The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) has requested an exemption for F-gases and fluoropolymers in any forthcoming PFAS restrictions. Read more…

PFAS proposals are “disproportionate” – 2 September 2023
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PFAS exemptions required for critical applications – 10 July 2023
GERMANY: A leading German research body has said that, without exemptions, any future PFAS regulation could jeopardise the safe and effective uninterrupted operation of refrigeration and heat pump systems. Read more…

PFAS ban considers impact on heat pumps – 7 February 2023
EUROPE: A number of HFC refrigerants and low GWP HFO alternatives could be banned under new PFAS chemical restrictions proposed to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Read more…

PFAS refrigerant ban could impact EU green aims – 4 January 2023
EUROPE: The chemical industry claims that proposals to ban certain refrigerants as PFAS substances under the European REACH regulations could compromise EU Green Deal and REPowerEU goals. Read more…

HFC/HFO ban would have “major consequences” – 20 September 2021
NETHERLANDS: The Dutch association representing 400 refrigeration and air conditioning companies has hit out at its own country’s proposals which could ban HFCs and HFOs under a new REACH regulation. Read more…

REACH proposals could hit HFC and HFO refrigerants – 21 July 2021
EUROPE: While Europe continues with the HFC refrigerant phase down, new proposals to be put before the Commission could see further restrictions or even bans on HFCs and HFOs. Read more…

REACH proposal is unclear – 23 July 2021
EUROPE: The European chemical trade association, CEFIC, has admitted that it is unclear what HFC and HFO refrigerants are included in the new REACH regulation proposals. Read more…

Refrigerants under threat from new PFAS proposals – 15 July 2020
EUROPE: Proposals to restrict the use of PFAS – a range of chemicals dangerous to health – could further impact the use of HFC and HFO refrigerants in Europe. Read more…

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