- Participation in the restriction proposal work under Reach, to restrict all PFAS in the EU.
- Supporting the development of the development of a coherent and coordinated EU action plan for PFASs.
- Submitted a SVHC (substance of very high concern) dossier for PFBS and the substance was listed on the Reach candidate list in January 2020.
Overview of Risk Reduction Approaches
Norway nominated PFHxS its salts and PFHxS-related compounds to the Stockholm convention in May 2017, and these were found to fulfill the screening criteria (persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport and toxicity) in October 2017. In 2018, a risk profile for PFHxS was developed, and accepted by the persistent organic pollutant (POP) review committee under the Stockholm convention. In 2019 the Committee accepted the risk management evaluation and a recommendation for listing in Annex A with no exemptions will be forwarded to Conference of the Parties and discussed at the next meeting in spring/summer 2021.
Norway is one of five countries who are cooperating in the preparation of a REACH restriction proposal with the aim to restrict the manufacture, the placing on the market and the use of all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the EU. The other countries are Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. The main rationale of this initiative is the very high persistence of these chemicals in the environment and the potential contamination of ground, surface and drinking water. The work on this proposal started in 2020 and the proposal is planned to be submitted in April 2022.
The Norwegian Minister for the Environment has also expressed support, along with several other ministers in the EU, to the development of a coherent and coordinated EU action plan for PFASs. The action plan should address all PFAS-related issues through regulatory and non-regulatory actions and drive the work in a coherent direction. In line with the timeframe of the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the ministers propose that actions on the EU level to phase out PFASs should be taken at the latest by 2025, to be in effect by 2030.
Norway submitted a restriction proposal for PFHxS and PFHxS-related compounds under the REACH regulation and a recommendation from ECHA on the proposal is expected to be sent to the Commission the autumn of 2020. Furthermore, PFHxA, HFPO-DA and PFBS have been added to the national priority list. This listing means that the discharge of this substance shall be reduced as much as possible, and that industry shall monitor and report the use and discharge of this substance. In addition, Norway submitted a SVHC (substance of very high concern) dossier for PFBS in 2019 and the substance was listed on the candidate list in January 2020, which means that it is a candidate for further regulation in the EU.
Fluorine-containing fire-fighting foam has been substituted with fluorine-free alternatives in civil airports in Norway, and fluorine-containing foam is no longer in use at fire-fighting training sites with the Norwegian military forces. Remediation of contaminated sites are undertaken, or in process at several military and civil airports, and the Norwegian Environment Agency will be demanding more remediation actions in many years to come. Remediation of contaminated sites at the norwegian civil airports have been prioritized according to a risk assessment and cost/efficiency analyses.
PFAS-contamination from paper production industry have been detected in one of Norway's biggest lakes. Remediation actions at the industry site are in progress. Risk assessments at other paper production sites are planned.
Fluorine-containing fire-fighting foam is largely substituted with fluorine free-alternatives in the offshore sector, and the used and discharge of fluorine-containing foam has decreased by about 98 %.
Long-time focus on the use of perfluorinated substances in ski wax from authorities and in media has resulted in the ban of use of such substances in ski lubrication for competitive skiers up to the age of 16 by the Norwegian Ski Association in 2017. This also resulted in a proposal to introduce such a ban internationally and The International Ski Federation (FIS) will introduce a ban on per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFASs) in waxes in all competitive ski disciplines from the winter season of 2020-2021.
Focus of future activities in relation to risk reduction: Norway will complete the work with the proposal for regulation of PFHxS at the EU and global level and continue to cooperate with other countries to develop the general restriction for PFAS in EU. Norway will continue to have focus on PFASs and assess the need for further risk reducing measures.
Key publications from public authorities
Nordic council of ministers:
Norwegian Environment Agency:
- Investigation of Sources to PFBS in the Environment
- Investigation of sources to PFHxS in the environment
- Socio-Economic Assessment of PFHxS and PFHxS-related Substances
All publications on the Norwegian Environment Agency's website can be accessed here.
Table with Key Elements of Risk Reduction Approaches
|Category of PFASss addressed||Articles covered?||Life cycle stage(s) addressed||Method of approach||Public- private partnership encouraged?||Level of constraint|
Monitoring and screening of PFASs in the environment:
Atmospheric deposition of organic contaminants in Norway (single report only)
|Continuous monitoring||Not relevant||Varies from year to year||Not relevant||Discharges from all life cycles are addressed||Analysis||No||None|
Discharge permits for waste treatment plants (WTP)
|WTP must apply for permission to discharge selected PFASs||Under development||Primarily PFHxS, PFOS, PFOA, C9-C14 PFCA||Not relevant||End of life-stage||Regulatory||No||WTP must screen and report levels of PFASs in their discharges, and must apply for permission for discharges|
Monitoring and remediation of PFAS contaminated soil at airport fire drill
|Airports must monitor levels of PFAS at their fire drill sites and propose measures to reduce pollution Risk assessments have been undertaken or are in process. Remediation is ongoing, according to a priority list of contaminated sites.||Under development||PFOS and other relevant PFASs from AFFF||No||End-use||Regulatory||No||Airports must screen and report levels of PFASs in their soil, and must propose measures to reduce pollution|
Source tracing of PFAS in contaminated lake
Initial mapping of PFAS sources in Tyrifjorden
Link to reportLink to PFAS in Tyrifjorden 2018
|Mapping of all potential sources to the lake, and industry producing food-contact paper products identified as main contributor.||PFOS-precursor substances and broad scope of PFAS||All||Analysis|
|Follow-up of the PFOS regulation under the Stockholm Convention, with an aim to minimise exemptions||Continuous assessment of the necessity of exemptions from the PFOS ban in the Stockholm Convention||Guidelines implemented for acceptable purpose applications under the Stockholm Convention||PFOS and PFOS related substances||Yes||All||Regulatory||No||Fewer exemptions|
Nomination of PFHxS, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds to the Stockholm Convention in May 2017. PFHxS fulfilled the screening criteria in October 2017. A recomandation for listing in Annex A with no exemptions will be discussed at the next BRS COP in 2021.
|Possible global ban or restriction||PFHxS and PFHxS related substances||Yes||All||Regulatory||No||Ban/Restriction|
Regulatory work under Reach:
-PFHxS and related substances – restriction proposal
- PFBS – listed on the candidate list- General PFAS restriction, in cooperation with DE, NL, DK and SE.
Analysis of PFAS in products
|Compliance and monitoring||Minimisation of PFASs used||Compounds subject to national regulation and other PFAS||Yes||Use in products||Enforcement, monitoring||No||Enforcement|
Listing of PFHxA, HPFO-DA, PFBS, PFHxS, PFOS, PFOA and C9-C14 perfluorinated carboxylic acids on the national priority list
|Political target to reduce the use and emissions of compounds on the priority list||Minimisation of PFASs used||PFCAs and PFSAs||Yes||All, including waste||Policy||No||Political|
1 Guidance on best available techniques and best environmental practices for the use of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and related chemicals listed under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Revised March 2014.