LONDON—There is still a glimmer of opportunity to stop a proposed European Union ban on fluoroelastomers and other fluorinated polymers and chemicals and the devastation it would cause to entire industries and economies in the region.
That was the only positive message to emerge from an industry webinar on a proposed ban, from 2025, on all per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as being "persistent in the environment."
The European Chemical Agency (ECHA), on March 22, launched a six-month consultation process on the proposals, which were prepared by authorities in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
Particularly surprising in the dossier supporting the ban was the broad definition of PFAS, said Cedric Triquet, EMEA strategy and advocacy director, advanced performance materials at Chemours Co.
Concern over "persistency" was the main justification for the "total ban," the authorities deciding that a substance-by-substance approach would be too slow.
"This matters because the proposals do not differentiate between different families among PFAS or the fact that, for example, fluoropolymers are a really different type of substance," Triquet said.
Therefore, more than 10,000 substances—daubed "forever chemicals" by ECHA—could be eliminated after a transition period of 18 months, he said in the March 29 webinar on the topic.