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REACH proposal is unclear

EUROPE: The European refrigerant producers group, EFCTC*, has admitted that it is unclear what HFC and HFO refrigerants are included in the new REACH regulation proposals.

“The new PFAS definition includes a number of HFCs and HFOs. We are seeking clarity on certain aspects of the definition before we can specify which products are excluded,” an EFCTC spokesperson told the Cooling Post.

Last week, five European member states – Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – published their intention to submit a joint restriction proposal under the European REACH regulations for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by July 2022.

The European REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation governs which chemicals can be manufactured and used within the EU.

The ROI’s complexity of the published definition of the structural formulas of the PFAS substances that the restriction would cover has created uncertainty as to which HFCs or HFOs might be included. It is thought, for instance, that R32 is one of the refrigerants that might fall outside of the proposed restriction.

The EFCTC also emphasises that the ROI is the first step in a long process. “We should emphasise that this is only the first stage of the process and inclusion in the ROI does not mean that HFCs and HFOs will ultimately be restricted by this proposal,” the EFCTC said. 

*Update July 28: The source of this story was originally attributed to Cefic, the European Chemicals Industry Council. The spokesperson quoted, Elisa Consoli, was recently appointed as manager of the EFCTC secretariat at Cefic.

Related stories:

REACH proposals could hit HFC and HFO refrigerants21 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…

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