Canberra pursues PFAS chemicals reduction

The federal government is calling for information from companies which are utilising PFAS chemicals or have considered or tried alternatives.

The PFAS taskforce of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has written to industry groups seeking information on PFAS use as part of consultations on a National PFAS Position Statement.

The current statewent that details the government’s vision to reduce PFAS use in Australia wherever practicable can be found here.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of over 4,000 manufactured chemicals that can harm human health and can persist in humans, animals and the environment.

The most often concerning chemicals are PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS.

These have been used in a wide range of applications including stain and water protection for carpets, furniture and apparel, paper coating for food packaging and as ingredients in fire-fighting foams.

Firefighters and their unions have campaigned for the banning of PFAS chemicals, but only South Australia has banned potentially hazardous fluorinated firefighting foams.

The PFAS taskforce is asking for:

  • information from companies that use products that contain PFAS, whether they have considered and used alternatives, and what the results were.
  • Guidance on determining whether products or articles contain PFAS can be found on the website.

The taskforce can be contacted via email at [email protected], or via the Contact Us form on the website.

Image: Department of Defence

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