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Microscopic picture of Solvay Aquivion® an ion-conducting polymer

Syensqo’s PFAS in the context of the upcoming EU regulatory scope

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Promoting the responsible and safe manufacture and use of essential products

The national competent authorities of The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway have submitted a EU Restriction proposal of PFAS under the EU REACH Regulation. 

The new proposal focusses on the entire group of PFAS substances as defined by the OECD, thereby impacting the full range of diverse substances that are critical to society in a wide range of sectors and applications including automotive, aerospace and defense, renewable energies, transport, electronics and health.

Syensqo supports clear, science-based regulatory measures on PFAS and believes that a segmentation is needed to differentiate the substances according to their intrinsic properties, toxicological profile and essential uses. We actively promote the continued responsible and safe manufacture, use and placement of products which are essential to the European industry and to the decarbonization of the global economy.

We take the subject of PFAS very seriously, and health and safety are Syensqo’s top priorities. We are firmly committed to a more sustainable future and are continuing to invest in Research and Innovation to develop more sustainable alternatives to our products, where possible.

Fluoropolymers and Fluorosurfactants

Syensqo is already voluntarily phasing out fluorosurfactants from its manufacturing processes. These are the PFAS substances under the most intense spotlight. 

The current restriction proposal on PFAS is much wider and may restrict some applications that are critical to society with a huge impact on many downstream products we use in our daily lives and that are critical for the future development of a sustainable society.

For example, fluoropolymers should not be targeted as they are chemically inert, critical to the functioning of modern society and key to innovation. They fulfill the criteria of Polymer of Low Concern and their use is generating significant benefits along the value chain, making them critical in numerous technologies, industrial processes, and everyday products. 

Fluoropolymers, Perfluoropolyethers (PFPE) and Fluorochemicals are essential inputs for the production of rechargeable EV batteries, sealings in new energy vehicles, special lubrication for safety applications, gaskets and sealings in extreme service conditions, solar panels, hydrogen membranes, wind turbines and semiconductors, which rely on these products’ specific properties. A restriction would have a significant impact on many different value chains and is in full contradiction with the EU Green Deal objectives as well as with the EU’s ambition for green mobility and digitalisation. 

This REACH restriction proposal will be subject to a review process over the next two years. Syensqo will continue discussing and facilitating information exchange with the regulators and relevant downstream sectors, to help demonstrate that fluoropolymers (FPs) and perfluoropolyethers (PFPEs) – as meeting the Polymer of Low Concern (PLC) criteria —should be excluded  from the scope of the restriction proposal or exempted by way of a time-unlimited derogation for all uses.