Posted on 15/05/2023 in Fire Safety Regulatory
ECHA publishes PFAS Restriction proposal

The EU has published a proposal to Restrict some 10 000 polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including PTFE. This was announced with the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability in 2020 (SWD(2020)249). The proposal specifies per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) proposed for restriction as: “Any substance that contains at least one fully fluorinated methyl (CF3-) or methylene (-CF2-) carbon atom (without any H/Cl/Br/I attached to it)” except if it contains certain structural elements (*). The most widely used fluoropolymer is PTFE (polytetrafluorethylene, TeflonTM), and one of its quantitatively small uses is as an anti-drip synergist with flame retardants, to prevent propagation of fire by burning drips of molten plastic. The restriction proposal offers two options: RO1 = a full ban after 18 months, or RO2 = a ban after 18 months with some derogations plus tolerance at ppm/ppb levels in mixtures, articles or as constituents of other substances. The Restriction proposals will now enter a consultation and scientific and regulatory evaluation process which may take several years.

* PFAS containing the following structural elements are NOT concerned by the proposed Restriction: CF3-X or X-CF2-X’, where X = -OR or -NRR’ and X’ = methyl (-CH3), methylene (-CH2), an aromatic group, a carbonyl group (-C(O)-), -OR’’, -SR’’ or –NR’’R’’’, and where R/R’/R’’/R’’’ is a hydrogen (-H), methyl (-CH3), methylene (-CH2-), an aromatic group or a carbonyl group (-C(O)-).

“ECHA publishes PFAS restriction proposal”, 7 February 2023, ECHA/NR/23/04

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