Industry alert over EU moves to restrict fluorinated chemicals
16 Mar 2023
EU proposal could lead to 'restrictions or even an EU ban on the use of fluoroelastomers...'
Helsinki – Fluoroelastomer manufacturers are being urged to participate in a European Chemical Agency (ECHA) consultation process regarding a draft proposal to restrict the use fluorinated chemicals in the EU.
Scheduled to start on 22 March, the six-month consultation process will examine the proposal prepared by authorities in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
In a statement issued in early February, the ECHA said all perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) within the scope of the proposal are “very persistent in the environment”.
“If their releases are not minimised, people, plants and animals will be increasingly exposed, and without a restriction,” the EU's chemicals-safety watchdog added.
The draft proposal raises the possibility of a ban on fluorinated polymers including PTFE and FKM/FFKM elastomers being introduced as early as 2025, according to UK-based seals manufacturer James Walker.
The company has been working with the European Seals Association (ESA) in gauging the impact of the proposed PFAS regulation across the many application areas covered by the industry.
In a statement, James Walker called on downstream users "whose feedback is considered critical in presenting a valid case for derogation," to participate in the ESA assessment.