Draft EU directive proposes curbs on PFOS

Commission proposal would restrict marketing and use of persistent chemicals in textile, paper and leather industries

The European commission has tabled plans to restrict the marketing and use of the group of persistent organic compounds known as perfluooctane sulphonates (PFOS). The move follows a recent UN decision to add PFOS to a list of internationally controlled toxic chemicals under the Stockholm convention (EED 15/11/05).

A draft directive proposed by the commission this week would amend the 1976 “limitations directive” on dangerous substances and preparations. PFOS and some of its derivatives would be forbidden for use in carpets, textiles, clothing, upholstery, paper and packaging. These restrictions would cover the “major part” of potential exposure but cause “minor problems” to industry because these uses “seem already to be phased out,” the commission says.

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