If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.


Persistent Pollutants

PFAS restriction plan developing in EU

by Cheryl Hogue
May 16, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 19


Photo shows a woman sitting outside at a table on which rests a glass of water and a refillable bottle of water.
Credit: Shutterstock

Five countries are drawing up a proposal to restrict production and use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the European Union. In mid-May, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden announced that they want to tightly regulate PFAS under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) law. PFAS, a category of synthetic chemicals designed to resist degradation, are increasingly being detected in drinking water supplies. The five countries say the proposal would limit human health and environmental risks from these compounds. The handful of PFAS that have undergone toxicity testing are linked to effects including cancer, high cholesterol, and thyroid-hormone disruption. The five countries plan to submit their proposal to the European Chemical Agency by 2022, and the agency says the plan could be finalized and take effect by 2025. The five countries are asking the public and companies that manufacture, use, or sell products with PFAS, and businesses that use PFAS alternatives, to provide information via a questionnaire to help in drafting the plan.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.