In a move with major implications for the European HVAC&R industry, five EU countries announced on July 15 to restrict per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), including some HFC and HFO refrigerants, to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) under the REACH regulation by July 2022.

● The five countries include Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark

● PFAS which represents a group of over 4,700 chemicals are used to produce many consumer products, but exposure to PFAS can be harmful to human health. PFAS include perfluoro octane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which have already been limited and banned, respectively, in the EU.

● HFCs are separately regulated by the EU F-Gas Regulation, though HFOs are not.

● In recent times, the US also increased its oversight on PFAS, and are currently involved in the regulation and restriction of HFCs

● On July 15, the U.S state of Maine became the first government in the world to ban the sale of products containing PFAS as of January 1, 2030, with exceptions for health and safety needs for which alternatives are not available.

● The EC defines restriction under REACH as “regulatory measures to protect human health and the environment from unacceptable risks posed by chemicals.

● In addition, restrictions may limit or ban the manufacture, placing on the market or use of a substance,” the EC says. “A restriction can apply to any substance on its own, in a mixture or in an article, including those that do not require registration.”


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