17 October 2023
WindEurope statement on PFAS restriction
In April 2023, following recommendations from five Member States, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) tabled a proposal to restrict the use of per- & polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Europe. PFAS are a class of thousands of substances that are widely used in industrial and domestic applications. In the media they have been dubbed ‘forever chemicals’. Many PFAS are used in closed industrial applications with a limited impact on the environment. This includes several use cases in the energy sector.
However, not all PFAS are the same and they can have very different environmental impacts. Indeed, some PFAS constitute significant long-term health and environmental hazards and can rightly be described as ‘forever chemicals’. But others are not bio-accumulative and break down into non-hazardous compounds after 30 years.
Before a restriction is put in place the functionality, criticality, and availability of suitable alternatives should be assessed for each specific PFAS use. In addition, a possible restriction on PFAS should not contain retroactive measures and must be aligned with the EU’s wider climate and energy goals.
Read the position paper