"The fluoropolymers and fluoroelastomers are regarded as safe," he said. "They are large molecules. They don't pass through cell membranes. They are 'forever chemicals' in the sense they all are, because it's hard to break that carbon-fluorine bond.
"... The problem is society is hearing about PFAS, and assuming that all of these are bad. Our argument is we have data to show that these are not the problems."
Mahoney didn't pull any punches in calling the ECHA's proposal to ban all PFAS as "ludicrous."
And A.W. Chesterton also does business in Europe, so it has a vested interest in how that measure progresses.
"There are other chemicals we use in processing like benzene, chlorine, other dangerous materials," he said. "They are not bio-persistent, but the point being that they are dangerous and we do regulate those."
William Heslip, regulatory compliance stewardship manager for Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technology, said most industry associations from the U.S. and Europe are pushing back hard in the broad approach taken with the proposed PFAS ban, which is proceeding under the EU's REACH Regulation. During the April webinar, one person asked why there was no separation between polymeric and non-polymeric PFAS.
"In that instance, they said they are aware of these concerns, but to them the polymers, even though they don't migrate or pose as high of a risk from a health hazard or environmental hazard standpoint, they still last a very long time," Heslip said. "So they still wanted them on the restriction list because of that.