PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a diverse group of chemicals that include PFCAs, PFOA, PFSAs, PFHxS, and thousands of others. These chemicals have been in commercial production since the 1950s and are now widely used in consumer and industrial applications. One characteristic of PFAS is their persistence in the environment, as they are extremely resistant to degradation. PFAS have emerged as contaminants of global concern because of their potential to accumulate in the human body and food chains.
During this two-day event, a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, industry, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and academics, will come together to discuss various topics related to PFAS. These topics will cover areas such as country risk management approaches, innovation challenges for finding safer alternatives, effective risk communication strategies, monitoring techniques, waste management, and approaches to managing contamination.
The OECD has been actively involved in the risk management of PFAS for nearly two decades. In response to the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM 2) 2009 Resolution II/5, the joint OECD/UNEP Global PFC Group was established in 2012. This group aims to promote the development and implementation of national and international stewardship programs and regulatory approaches to reduce emissions and the presence of harmful perfluorinated chemicals in products. The OECD has played a key role in coordinating the efforts of this group, facilitating the exchange of information on PFAS, and supporting the global transition towards safer alternatives.
The outputs of these activities can be found on the OECD PFAS Portal.
Access the Programme, Background Document and Speakers Programme
Access the presentations
Session 1: Setting the scene
PFAS Exposure, Testing, and Clinical Follow-Up Bruce N. Calonge
Overview of current uses of PFAS Martin Scheringer
Chemical industry perspective Ronald Bock
Session 2: Sharing of risk management approaches
Sharing of risk management approaches from US EPA, Jeff Morris, US Environmental Protection Agency
Risk management for PFAS in China, Jianguo Liu, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, China
PFAS Policy in Japan, Itsuki Kuroda, Ministry of the Environment, Japan
Risk management approach to PFAS from the EU: Kristin Schreiber, Valentina Bertato and Bastian Zeiger
Session 3: Moving to safer alternatives: Where are the innovation needs for alternatives?
Landscape of alternatives and areas where innovation is particularly needed, Anna Lennquist, ChemSec
Safer alternatives and innovation needs, Valentina Bertato & Martijn Beekman, European Commission
Moving to safer alternatives, Franz-Manfred Schuengel, Merck KGaA, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations
Innovation for PFAS-free electronics, Kim Jansen, Canon, DIGITAL EUROPE
Session 4: Strategies for effective risk communication
Communicating Risk and Uncertainty Tom Jansen, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands
Experience of IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network) & PFAS Communication, Sara Brosché, IPEN
Session 5: Additional topics that could be explored in the Global PFC Group
Session 5.1: Environmental monitoring of PFAS
Spatial and Temporal Trends of PFAS in Global Ocean, Coastal Waters and Air, Amila O. De Silva, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Tracking PFAS across Europe – Forever Pollution Project Stéphane Horel, Journalist, Le Monde
Current and emerging analytical techniques for the determination of PFAS in the environment, Anna Kärrman, Örebro University, School of Science and Technology, Sweden
Session 5.2: Disposal and Incineration of PFAS wastes
International regulations for disposal of PFAS and Destruction technologies in waste industry, Nicolas Humez, SARP Industries - Veolia
Developing innovative treatment technologies for PFAS-containing wastes, Erin Shields, Office of Research and Development, US EPA
Addressing the concerns related to Fluoropolymers during their lifecycle and new destruction methods, Deepak Kapoor, Gujarat Fluorochemicals Limited
Session 5.3: Approaches to managing contamination and remediation
Managing contamination and remediation - case study from the Flemish region’s experience, Johan Ceenaeme, Public Waste Agency of Flanders, Belgium
Main advances for the management of PFAS contamination and remaining challenges, Annegret Biegel-Engler, German Environment Agency
PFAS at the UK Environment Agency, Alun James, UK Environment Agency
Session 6: Recap of the different sessions and opportunities for further work at OECD
Ideas for future OECD activities, Eeva Leinala, Environment Directorate, OECD