Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

List details

Basic info

Status Intention
Details on the scope of restriction Restricting the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in fire-fighting foams.
Reason for restriction Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) constitute a group of thousands of man-made chemicals that are widely used in various consumer and industrial products (e.g. water- and stain repellent textiles, fire-fighting foams, food contact materials and cosmetics). These substances are of increasing concern as many are likely to be persistent in the environment, whilst some are also known to be mobile, toxic and bioaccumulative. For many PFAS currently in use, there is a lack of detailed knowledge on their chemical structures, properties, uses and toxicological profiles. The Commission and ECHA recently commissioned a study on possible regulatory management options to address the risks associated with the use of PFAS in fire-fighting foams in the EU. The results show that fluorine-free fire-fighting foams are generally available and technically feasible and have been successfully used in most of the sectors identified. Fluorinated fire-fighting foams are the cause of many cases of contamination in Europe, both of soil and drinking water. The study identified the most relevant technologies for the remediation of PFAS contamination from use of fire-fighting foams. Moreover, the inclusion of PFOA, its salts and PFOA related compounds in Annex I of the POPs Regulation, following the listing under the Stockholm Convention, will lead, in the next 5 years, to the substitution of fire-fighting foams containing these substances. Considering the concern raised by substituting fire-fighting foams containing PFOA with other fluorine-based ones, the increasing availability of fluorine-free alternatives and the conclusions of ECHA’s and Commission’s study, the Commission requested ECHA to develop an Annex XV dossier in accordance with Article 69(1) of REACH for a potential restriction of PFAS in fire-fighting foams.

Intention timeline

Date of intention 2020-10-01
Expected date of submission 2021-10-01
Latest update 2020-10-14

Support information

Remarks Stakeholders are requested to provide any information relevant to the Dossier Submitter during the Annex XV Restriction Dossier process, either in any call for evidence or separately during the process. This information will be used, amongst other issues, to determine if any derogations are required for the potential restriction as these cannot be proposed without adequate risk and socio-economic information. If a derogation is not proposed by the Dossier Submitter then it will be incumbent on the relevant stakeholders to do so during any consultation process with a full risk and socio-economic justification accompanying it.

Related substances

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Related regulatory records

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Record history

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This version
Oct. 14, 2020
  • Latest update: 2020-10-072020-10-14
  • Reason for restriction: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) constitute a group of thousands of man-made chemicals that are widely used in various consumer and industrial products (e.g. water- and stain repellent textiles, fire-fighting foams, food contact materials and cosmetics). These substances are of increasing concern as they are all persistent in the environment, whilst some are also known to be mobile, toxic and bioaccumulative. For many PFAS currently in use, there is a lack of detailed knowledge on their chemical structures, properties, uses and toxicological profiles. The Commission and ECHA recently commissioned a study on possible regulatory management options to address the risks associated with the use of PFAS in fire-fighting foams in the EU. The results show that fluorine-free fire-fighting foams are generally available and technically feasible and have been successfully used in most of the sectors identified. Fluorinated fire-fighting foams are the cause of many cases of contamination in Europe, both of soil and drinking water. The study identified the most relevant technologies for the remediation of PFAS contamination from use of fire-fighting foams. Moreover, the inclusion of PFOA, its salts and PFOA related compounds in Annex I of the POPs Regulation, following the listing under the Stockholm Convention, will lead, in the next 5 years, to the substitution of fire-fighting foams containing these substances. Considering the concern raised by substituting fire-fighting foams containing PFOA with other fluorine-based ones, the increasing availability of fluorine-free alternatives and the conclusions of ECHA’s and Commission’s study, the Commission requested ECHA to develop an Annex XV dossier in accordance with Article 69(1) of REACH for a potential restriction of PFAS in fire-fighting foams.Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) constitute a group of thousands of man-made chemicals that are widely used in various consumer and industrial products (e.g. water- and stain repellent textiles, fire-fighting foams, food contact materials and cosmetics). These substances are of increasing concern as many are likely to be persistent in the environment, whilst some are also known to be mobile, toxic and bioaccumulative. For many PFAS currently in use, there is a lack of detailed knowledge on their chemical structures, properties, uses and toxicological profiles. The Commission and ECHA recently commissioned a study on possible regulatory management options to address the risks associated with the use of PFAS in fire-fighting foams in the EU. The results show that fluorine-free fire-fighting foams are generally available and technically feasible and have been successfully used in most of the sectors identified. Fluorinated fire-fighting foams are the cause of many cases of contamination in Europe, both of soil and drinking water. The study identified the most relevant technologies for the remediation of PFAS contamination from use of fire-fighting foams. Moreover, the inclusion of PFOA, its salts and PFOA related compounds in Annex I of the POPs Regulation, following the listing under the Stockholm Convention, will lead, in the next 5 years, to the substitution of fire-fighting foams containing these substances. Considering the concern raised by substituting fire-fighting foams containing PFOA with other fluorine-based ones, the increasing availability of fluorine-free alternatives and the conclusions of ECHA’s and Commission’s study, the Commission requested ECHA to develop an Annex XV dossier in accordance with Article 69(1) of REACH for a potential restriction of PFAS in fire-fighting foams.