Universal PFAS restriction under REACH

In January 2023, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden submitted a proposal to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to restrict around 10 000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The main aim is to restrict the release of PFAS into the environment as they are very persistent substances. To cover all relevant substances, this restriction has a group approach to avoid regrettable substitution. In textiles, PFAS are used for example for their oil, water, chemical repellence and protection against dangerous liquids. Currently the proposal is being discussed by ECHA’s Committees.

EURATEX Position

• While supporting the aims of the restriction for everyday consumer applications, some specific textile applications need to use fluorinated substances, as there are no alternatives available
• The textile industry needs some of these substances whose properties enable safety and performance standards, for example in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and technical textiles
• Legal clarity is needed between this restriction and the one on PFHxA, as it is mostly PFHxA that is used in textiles, however they also belong to the PFAS group.