EU proposes to impose ban on ‘forever chemicals’

EU considers ban on 'forever chemicals', urges search for alternatives. Photo by Jorisvo

EU plans to purpose a ban on the use of potentially harmful substances known as forever chemicals or PFAS 

The European Union has announced that it is considering imposing a ban on the use of harmful substances known as forever chemicals or PFAS.  

The move, which could potentially become one of the most extensive regulations on the chemical industry aims to target the chemical used in thousands of products sold in markets across the EU bloc of 27 countries.  

PFAS which is used in several applications including cars, textiles, medical gear, windmills and nonstick pans has been linked to major health risks, as per Reuters such as “cancer, hormonal dysfunction, and a weakened immune system as well as environmental damage”.  

“A ban on PFAS would reduce quantities of PFAS in the environment over the long term. It would also make products and processes safer for humans”, said a joint statement by Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and non-EU state Norway.  

The five countries have been collaborating together on the proposal for banning forever chemicals and stated that “if passed, it would become one of the largest bans on chemical substances ever in Europe”. 

As per the draft proposal, once the ban is imposed, a period between 18 months and 12 years will be provided to companies to find alternatives, depending on their availability.  

 “You can find PFAS in penguins in the Antarctic, in polar bears in the Arctic, even in rainwater in Tibet”, said Audun Heggelund of the Norwegian Environment Agency.  

According to a statement by the five countries, “no such alternatives currently exist, and in some, they possibly never will”.


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Written by

Imran Khan