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CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

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EU: PFOA Restriction is now published under POPs Regulation

JUNE 2020 – RELEVANT FOR: ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

The European Commission (EC) now includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related substances under Part A of Annex I under EU persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Regulation. This amendment1 will apply from 4 July 2020 while the REACH Annex XVII entry 682 are planned to be removed. 

PFOA is used as an emulsion stabilizer to manufacture polyvinylidine fluoride (PVDF) and other fluorinated polymers and elastomers. It can be found in concentrations up to 1% w/w in these plastics. A variety of commercial applications use PFOA for example, water, oil and grease repellent treatments for carpets, furniture and clothing. It can be found in Teflon products and food packaging, components of pharmaceuticals, fire retardants. It is also used in fire-fighting foam, photographic and semi-conductor industry.

These substances are identified as POPs during the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention. Hence, the EC adopted this technical update to the POPs Regulation. However, this group of substances is already listed under REACH Annex XVII entry 68. Hence, the EC adjusted specific exemptions granted under the Convention and which are needed in the EU. Meanwhile, REACH Annex XVII entry 68 is planned to be removed.

Table A. Highlights of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds requirement under POPs

Scope of restriction   Substances, mixtures and articles 
 Limits 

Substances, mixtures, articles:

  1. PFOA or its salts: ≤ 25 ppb;
  2. One or a combination of PFOA-related substances: ≤ 1 mg/kg


Note: limits of specific uses can be referred to point 3 and 4 of specific exemptions in the regulation.

 Exemptions

  1. Specific exemptions to the medical device, fire-fighting foam, pharmaceutical products, photographic and semi-conductor industry, industrial and professional uses can be referred to point 5, 6, 7 and 9 of specific exemptions in the regulation
  2. Articles which are already in used before 4 July 2020 shall be allowed.

 Application date

 From 4 July 2020

[1] Regulation (EU) 2020/784, POPs Annex I amendment

[2] Legal text of REACH Annex XVII, entry 68 PFOA, Regulation (EU) 2017/1000

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