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Under the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted the Zero Pollution Action Plan in May 2021 and the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability in October 2020. The strategies identify air, water and soil pollution as a threat for the environment, biodiversity and human health.
PFAS is a group of persistent chemicals, commonly known as ‘forever chemicals’. Some of them bio-accumulate, are toxic and mobile. Diffuse and point-sources of PFAS pollution affect the environment including water resources. Once in the aquatic environmental, these substances are extremely difficult to remove while natural degradation can take many decades.
The new Drinking Water Directive sets stringent threshold values for PFAS, in order to protect human health. Due to multiple pathways, this will however not avoid human exposure to PFAS or their accumulation in the environment. With this in mind, the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability established an action plan for PFAS, including a ban of all non-essential PFAS uses, taking into account the Zero Pollution ambition.
In the meantime, many PFAS-related legislative and non-legislative developments are taking place in the EU as well as worldwide. In order to explore the various initiatives and the way these may contribute to realizing the goals of the European Green Deal, the Working Group on ‘Water Management’ of the European Parliament Intergroup on ‘Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development’ organizes an online meeting, bringing together EU decision-makers, regulators, the business community, and civil society.