In an article published on July 17, 2017 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, reporter Clelia Oziel informed about a working paper on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) published by the Nordic Council. The working paper presents the outcomes of a workshop addressing joint strategies for PFASs that was hosted by the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) on April 5-6, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Nordic Council, representing Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, explains that PFASs are widely used in society and that they, or their degradation products, are very persistent in the environment. Some PFASs are known to be bioaccumulative and toxic, while for others publicly available scientific data are lacking. However, “the current level of knowledge on this group of substances and the extent of concerns about PFASs are sufficient to justify prompt action,” the working paper states.
Specifically, the Nordic Council recommends the following measures:
1) Raising awareness of the potential hazards of PFASs to the environment and human health. This measure should target the general public, relevant authorities, and policy makers. A global labeling of PFASs-containing products could also be considered;
2) extending existing EU regulatory tools (e.g. REACH, drinking water directive, groundwater directive) to tackle PFASs more effectively and aiming at a global regulation on PFASs (e.g. under the Stockholm Convention);
3) improving monitoring activities, including information exchange in the supply chain, a standardized method for monitoring total organic fluorine, a historic inventory of PFASs on the market, and a monitoring strategy guidance document to support policy measures; and
4) conducting more scientific research on PFASs regarding their fate and effects in the environment and biota, substance identity, and fate and transport at the waste stage (incineration and recycling).
The Nordic Council notes that these “measures should support and reinforce each other if they were to be implemented.”
Clelia Oziel (July 17, 2017). “Nordic Council calls for prompt regulatory action on PFASs.” Chemical Watch
Nordic Council of Ministers (2017). “Nordic working papers – Nordic workshop on PFASs: Outcomes.” (pdf)