The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has been assessing and identifying the potential risk imposed by the Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) lately. The PFAS are the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that are man-made chemicals which are widely used in the industrial and commercial applications. These man-made chemicals are used because of its excellent resistance to oil, heat, and water. REACH compliance is a comprehensive framework developed by the European Union (EU) to assess every chemical substance that enters the European Union territory. ECHA coordinates with the EU bodies which include the European Commission and member state authorities, to consistently assess and identify the potential risk of PFAS across the EU.
PFAS Restriction Proposal:
If you are into the chemical supply chain or one of those manufacturers who offer products across the EU, then you might know that a proposal consisting of 10,000 PFAS has been developed by the authorities from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands and was submitted to ECHA on 13th of January 2023. The major aim of this proposal is to reduce the emission of the PFAS in the surroundings and manufacture products that are safer for human beings.
The suggested PFAS in the proposal are persistent and if their emission is not minimized it can potentially harm the plants, animals, and mankind when exposed. The authorities who developed the restriction proposal estimate that around 4.4 million tonnes of these chemical substances would be accumulated in the environment within the next 30 years if necessary action is not taken.
Hence, as a result the ECHA’s Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) committee checked the restriction proposal whether it meets the legal requirements in March 2023. A six-month open consultation is organized by the ECHA which started on 22nd March of 2023 and it is extended to 25th of September 2023 to evaluate the given proposal.
ECHA Asks Inputs From Manufacturers:
As a part of six-month open consultation for restriction of PFAS proposal, ECHA now invites the interested parties (anyone with the PFAS information) can come up with the information related to the PFAS such as social risks, social-economic perspective, or an alternative substance.
As a result, the ECHA’s Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) committee will look up these inputs during the consultation and evaluate the same for the restriction proposal which helps in creating an opinion.
In addition, an online information session was held on April 5th where the session includes the ECHA experts and national authorities. During this session, the ECHA experts and the five national authorities would explain about the restriction proposal briefly, how to respond to the open-consultation followed by answering the participants’ questions.
A separate 60 day open consultation is also organized by the ECHA’s Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) committee from 15th of March to 15th of May 2023 to prevent the PFAS on the firefighting foams. Hence, the interested parties are asked to submit their information during the consultation.
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