ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) supports the proposed restriction on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams. 

The committee concluded that there is an EU-wide risk for people and the environment from the use of firefighting foams with more than 470 tons of PFAS released into the environment each year. The proposed restriction would effectively reduce emissions and the associated risks posed by these persistent substances. The committee’s concerns are based on the 'very persistent’ property combined with others, such as ‘mobility’.

During an incident of fire or during training period, when firefighting foams are used, they are dispersed rapidly into the environment with no opportunity to collect them or to prevent the waste from entering the environment. Class B also called Aqueous film forming which is used to fight off fires from high-hazard flammable liquid fires, like gasoline, oil, and jet fuel is created using PFAS.

The draft opinion of the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) also lends support to the proposed restriction. According to SEAC, the proposal is the most appropriate EU-wide measure for addressing identified risks, taking into account the availability of alternatives and the proportionality of its benefits and costs to society.

Nevertheless, SEAC suggests that a review of available and feasible alternatives is conducted before the end of the transition period for sites that produce, treat or store dangerous substances (covered by the Seveso Directive). This review is considered important to maintain safety where fires may have high impacts on the environment and human health. The 60-day consultation for the draft opinion is open until 15 May 2023.

The committee is expected to adopt its opinion in June 2023.


Reach out to our regulation experts on product regulatory compliances