Skip to main content

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) accepting comments on PFAS rules

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) continues to accept comments on the proposed use restrictions to thousands of chemicals commonly found in automotive and other applications related to PFAS.

PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are widely used, long lasting chemicals. They are components in which break down very slowly over time. There are thousands of PFAS chemicals that can be found in many (or most) different consumer, commercial, and industrial products.

A majority of these chemicals are not released directly to the environment in their raw form. Rather, they are combined to make most consumer and industrial products used today. This includes plastics.  When disposing of such products, in some cases improperly, the materials break down and release the component chemicals to the environment.

In a Perfect World…

Certainly, if every product were made of things like R-Magic, it would leave Zero impact on the environment in their raw or processed form. However, we have yet to achieve such an industrial nirvana and need to continue to develop alternatives that move us closer to environmental neutrality.

The ECHA proposal paints many of these chemicals with a broad brush. They leave out consideration for their use, impact, or available alternatives in doing so. The proposed restrictions, in reference to refrigerants, would leave consumers with few choices not yet technologically advanced enough to provide efficient, cost effective, cooling in a broad range of environments.

There is no doubt that technology continues to advance. Pushing the boundaries through innovation is a good thing, but this innovation takes time and is often full of unintended consequences. In the automotive space, we banned R-12 due to ozone depletion and turned to R-134a.  Some 20 years later, R-134a bans were on the horizon due to global warming potential and we transitioned to R-1234yf. Now R-1234yf is on the target list without an R-Magic replacement available.

Learn More

You can read more from the US EPA at the link below. You can offer comment at the ECHA link that follows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *