Thursday 29 October 2020

Pizza boxes to pans: The Netherlands proposes EU-wide ban on PFAS

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Netherlands is calling for an EU-wide ban on products containing PFAS – toxic chemicals used in a wide range of manufacturing processes, from pizza boxes to non-stick frying pans.

PFAS do not break down naturally and have been linked to several types of cancer and other health problems. Most, according to EU documents, are considered moderately to highly toxic, particularly for children’s development

Junior environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven will formally present her proposal to EU ministers on Thursday afternoon, and has already won the support of Germany, Denmark and Sweden, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.

The presence of high amounts of PFAS in Dutch soil and water had led to a number of building projects being halted since the introduction of new limits in July.

However, officials have since increased the maximum permitted concentration up from 0.1 microgrammes per kilo to 0.8 microgrammes in an effort to get construction moving again.

According to broadcaster NOS, the Netherlands is not calling for maximum limits to the amount of PFAS permitted in soil.

Rather, the aim of the proposal is to stop the production of PFAS at source and the stimulate the development of alternatives, NOS said.

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