On 30 March 2022, the Norwegian Environment Agency released a virtual briefing on the state of play of the PFAS Restriction Intention, i.e., the universal restriction intention proposal on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).
The current scope of the restriction intention considers any substance that contain at least one fully fluorinated methyl (CF3) or methylene (CF2) carbon atom (without any H/Cl/Br/l attached to it). PFASs are concerning because of their persistence, bioaccumulation, mobility and toxicity.
Well-known fluorinated gases (f-gases) used as refrigerants that are included in the current scope are R134a and R1234yf. Audun Heggelund of the Norwegian Environment Agency reported that the agency received over 170 comments from industry and civil society organisations across the world concerning fluorinated gases during the second consultation that ran at the end of 2021.
Heggelund highlighted that a new public consultation will be opened following the submission in January 2023 to the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) by the five national agencies working on the file.
Since July 2020, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have been working together on a restriction proposal targeting all PFASs in all applications. The PFAS Restriction Intention proposal is drafted under Annex XV of the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), one of the most important pieces of legislation targeting chemicals in the EU.
Following the submission early next year, the European Commission is expected to adopt a decision on the file during 2025.
The virtual briefing can be viewed below, and more information can be sourced at the Norwegian Environment Agency’s dedicated webpage here.