Walk in the Park or Nightmare, the Mixed Reception to the EU’s Plan for PFAS

The chemical industry is pouring through the fine print of a proposal by the European Union to ban PFAS substances.

Under the plan, about 10,000 so-called forever chemicals would be phased out by the late 2030s, once derogations of up to 12 years have lapsed.

“It’s quite an extensive document so we’re still making our way through that,” AkzoNobel CEO Gregoire Poux-Guillaume told reporters on a call.

The maker of Dulux paint is among the companies which already started phasing out PFAS and the related PFOA family of chemicals. The proposal submitted yesterday will impact the sale of about 4% of AkzoNobel’s products.

Others with more to lose are less sanguine.

Worried about the time it will take to come up with alternatives, the Fluorinated Products and PFAS for Europe lobby group has popped up. The FPP4EU, which includes Arkema, Bayer, BASF, DuPont and Solvay, among others, have expressed concerns that restrictions will lead to disruptions and the loss of some critical applications.

Another member, 3M, is shutting down its PFAS business. Others are likely to follow.

“We have alternatives,” AkzoNobel’s Poux-Guillaume said. “In a way the regulation evens the playing field and forces everybody to be virtuous. This is something we believe we can handle.”

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