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.
(Rome, Italy) Faced with rampant drinking water pollution around the world from toxic fluorinated chemicals, a UN expert committee recommended a global ban on PFOA / PFOS. The committee recommended strict restrictions for their use in firefighting foams – a major source of water pollution around the world. At issue are two toxic fluorinated chemicals that have been used in firefighting foams; perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
(Göteborg, Sweden): PFOA, the “Teflon chemical,” the cause of vast contamination of ground and drinking water around the world, is a persistent pollutant and suspected carcinogen. PFOA was nominated in 2015 for a global ban under the UN Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. An upcoming UN expert group meeting will make recommendations to governments about adding PFOA to the treaty, including possible loopholes that would continue production and use. Experts across diverse fields, including business, fire safety regulation, airport authorities, environmental science and medical device suppliers, strongly condemn proposed exemptions, arguing there is no justification for continued use when viable alternatives exist.
Fluorine-free Firefighting Foams (F3) position paper produced by IPEN. Main document and appendices are in English. Executive summaries are provide in English, Frence, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic.
In preparation for the 14th meeting of the Stockholm Convention POPs Review Committee (POPRC), which will take place 17 - 21 September in Rome, IPEN has developed a Quick Guide to IPEN Views on POPRC-14. This document highlights IPEN's views on issues that the Committee will tackle at the meeting, including consideration of exemptions and formal recommendations for listing PFOA in the treaty. The Committee will also determine if perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) – a regrettable substitute for PFOS – warrants global action. Finally, the POPRC will make recommendations about whether loopholes that permit continued use of PFOS are still needed.