Companies share concern over PFAS in products
A recent survey by ChemSec, an independent non-profit organisation, has found that many companies share hopes that PFAS will be phased out in favour of safer alternatives.
With the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) recent publication of the proposal for a wide-ranging PFAS restriction, these ‘forever chemicals’ are being spoken about in the media and public more than ever.
PFAS, a family of over 10,000 chemicals, are used in products due to their heat and grease resistant nature. Their persistent properties also allow them to remain in our environment for decades. To compound this concern, PFAS have been linked to several significant health concerns, including cancers, and reduced immune function.
The PFAS restriction proposal, prepared by the authorities in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, would aim to reduce PFAS emissions into the environment and make products and processes safer for people.
There has been clear appetite for the restriction of these harmful chemicals among scientists, NGOs, and the public. This survey by ChemSec shows that there is also a high level of support for further PFAS restrictions among businesses. 100% of the 53 companies surveyed agreed that it was either important or very important to regulate PFAS. Reasons cited included: ‘Foster innovation and create a huge market for alternatives providers’ and ‘Create business opportunities for companies that have successfully phased out PFAS – or never used them from the start.’
49% of companies have already substituted PFAS with safer alternatives or never used them in the first place. It is good to see that some companies are already committing to phasing out these harmful chemicals, and we would encourage other companies to adopt similar policies.
One brand representative said “since chemicals are the foundation of all products, they should be our top priority. It doesn’t matter if you have ‘green packaging’ if the product inside contains toxic chemicals.”
CHEM Trust is working with NGOs in the UK and the EU to call for a ban on all PFAS in consumer products by 2025; followed by a ban on the whole family of PFAS chemicals.