ECHA progresses a REACH restriction proposal on all PFAS in firefighting foams. Five different restriction options to protect human health and the environment from PFAS have been assessed. The preferred option would ban the placing on the market, use, and export of all PFAS in firefighting foams. This option would also provide transition periods to allow industry to develop and implement safer alternatives without compromising fire safety. If enacted into law, the restriction would prevent release of an estimated 13,000 metric tons of PFAS to the environment; it is estimated to cost society €7 billion EUR over 30 years. A six-month public consultation on the proposal will start on March 23, 2022. ECHA will also host an online webinar on April 5, 2022, to explain the restriction process and support stakeholders.
In addition, five member states of the EU are working on a restriction proposal for PFAS in all other uses. It is anticipated that this proposal will be brought to the EC in January 2023. PFAS importers, manufacturers, and users should keep abreast of the developments regarding firefighting foams as a blueprint for restriction of other uses.