PFHXs, Used as a Substitute for Banned PFOS and PFOA, Recommended for Global Ban
Friday, 04 October 2019
Rome, Italy An U.N. expert committee decided unanimously to recommend a complete global elimination for another toxic fluorinated “forever chemical.” Fluorinated chemicals are widespread pollutants threatening drinking water sources, public health and the occupational health of firefighters. They do not break down in the environment and accumulate in the bodies of wildlife and people. They are used in a wide variety of products, including firefighting foam, waterproofing of textiles, and food packaging, as well as other industrial and consumer applications.
Gothenburg, Sweden In a landmark decision, a U.N. expert committee decided, unanimously, that global action is needed for the toxic plastic additive UV-328. The evaluation provided clear evidence that this toxic substance is also persistent, bioaccumulative, and has spread to remote islands and the Arctic. It also showed that floating plastic debris in the ocean is an important contributing factor to this transport.
Last year, IPEN showed that UV-328 is found in beached and recycled plastic pellets collected in countries all over the world. In a recent research brief, IPEN also shows that it is present in toys, which is especially alarming due to its toxicity and endocrine effects.
UV-328 can cause damage to liver and kidneys in mammals. Studies have also shown that it has endocrine disrupting effects, as described further in a recent report on Plastics, EDCs & Health prepared by scientific experts in the Endocrine Society and IPEN.
IPEN Science and Technical Advisor Therese Karlsson said “This decision is a really important step forward. It clearly shows that plastics and chemicals go hand in hand and that plastics can transport chemicals to very remote locations. To prevent further harm to the environment and human health from toxic chemicals used in plastics, it is therefore crucial that toxic chemicals are not allowed in plastics.”
A United Nations committee’s recent recommendation to ban an entire group of persistent fluorochemicals will better protect communities, consumers, and workers, according to an international environmental organization.
IPEN has convened an international panel of independent experts from the fields of fire safety, chemistry, policy, and remediation to present at this side event. The panel also offers the third in a series of papers about PFAS chemicals: sources of contamination, implications for public and occupational health, safe alternatives, and remediation.
In a decision announced Friday (Sept. 21) in Rome, a group of UN experts tasked with deciding which chemicals should be globally banned under the Stockholm Convention decided to add PFOA and PFOS to the list.