On December 11, 2019, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a web briefing that “summarizes the known and potential risks to human health and the environment in Europe posed by” per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). It aims to provide a general overview of this group of chemicals, especially to those who may not be so familiar with the topic. The briefing addresses what PFAS are and what they are used for, why they are of concern, main sources of human and environmental exposure, and how consumers can avoid them.

The briefing “warns that, due to the large number of PFAS, it is a difficult and time-consuming task to assess and manage risks for these substances individually, which may lead to widespread and irreversible pollution.” Looking ahead at management options, it specifically references the recent release of the European Green Deal (FPF reported), which calls for a new chemicals strategy for sustainability that addresses, among other issues, very persistent chemicals such as PFAS. It also refers to conclusions from the European Council of Ministers that highlighted the widespread presence of PFAS in the environment (FPF reported) and encouraged creation of an action plan to remove all non-essential uses of the chemicals (FPF reported).

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EEA (December 12, 2019). “Emerging chemical risks in Europe — ‘PFAS’.”

EEA (December 12, 2019). “PFAS pollution is widespread in Europe but risks are still poorly understood.”