The international fashion retailer H&M and Danish retailer Coop have joined a corporate initiative led by ChemSec to call for the phase-out of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in products and supply chains. This announcement on February 5, 2020 was made on the same day that a special event on the PFAS issue took place in the European Parliament in Brussels with a visit from the lead actor and director of the recently released film ‘Dark Waters.’

The ChemSec initiative includes a call for (i) policy makers to regulate PFAS without the possibility to substitute them with other chemicals within the PFAS family, (ii) the chemical industry to invest in innovation of safer alternatives, (iii) recognition that PFAS are a major concern to public health and the environment, and (iv) companies to commit to ending all non-essential uses of PFAS. Anne-Sofie Bäckar, the Executive Director at ChemSec, commented “at ChemSec, we know there are thousands of companies out there that support legislative action and also have very advanced strategies to limit their use of PFAS. We seriously hope that these companies will join H&M and Coop Denmark in this great initiative.”

The new Hollywood film ‘Dark Waters’ made its Belgian premiere during a special screening for European Parliament members and stakeholders. Based on real events, it tells the story of an environmental attorney and their fifteen-year legal battle with chemical manufacturer DuPont over PFAS contamination in the U.S. state of West Virginia. The lead actor and director from the film also attended a session of Parliament scheduled to host panel debates with representatives from the European Commission and European Parliament.

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ChemSec (February 5, 2020). “H&M, Coop Denmark join NGO ChemSec in call to end the use of PFAS chemicals.”

Eleanor Hawke (February 5, 2020). “New Hollywood film ‘Dark Waters’ highlights the shocking reality of PFAS pollution.” CHEM Trust

HEAL (February 3, 2020). “Forever chemicals no more: Belgian premiere of Hollywood movie “Dark Waters” highlights reality of PFAS pollution and the urgency to address it through ambitious regulation.”

HEAL (February 4, 2020). “The “forever chemicals” that are harming our health: PFAS.”