A report was recently published that presents results from the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s work on PFASs relating to Sweden’s Action Plan for a toxic-free everyday environment and describes further efforts that are needed.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency decided that companies are required to provide information on highly fluorinated substances (PFASs) for the agency's Products Register. The new provisions came into force on 1st January 2019. As a result, information concerning PFASs will have to be reported to the Products Register starting from February 2020.
Overview of risk reduction approaches
Sweden addresses certain PFASs through EU Regulations. The Swedish Chemicals Agency (CA) (KemI) has been assigned by the Swedish government to develop a national action plan with the aim to increase the safety of drinking water supplies. In December 2010, the Swedish Government assigned KemI to prepare and implement an action plan for a toxic-free everyday environment: Action plan for a toxic-free everyday environment 2011 – 2014. The Action Plan has been prolonged to 2020. One focal area for the action plan is highly fluorinated substances (PFASs). A report was prepared to present results from the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s work on PFASs relating to the Action Plan and describes further efforts that are needed.
KemI has also been assigned to investigate potential national and/or EU regulations and other measurements (specifically for firefighting foams but other uses may also be considered). Within the national action plan the Swedish CA is also performing a survey of different PFASs and their uses on the market and the occurrence of alternatives. The Swedish CA will also work for an EU-action plan for the group of PFAS substances. In addition there are also activities by other Swedish agencies.
Table with key elements of risk reduction approaches
|Action||Path taken||BEPs Implemented||Category of PFASss addressed||Articles covered?||Life cycle stage(s) addressed||Method of approach||Public- private partnership encouraged?||Level of constraint|
Analysis of PFAS in fire-fighting foams
|Monitoring||Not relevant||Both target (19 different PFASs) and non-target screening analysis||Yes||Use in products||Analysis||No||None|
Development of a national action plan for PFAS
|Political target to reduce the use andemissions that will lead to exposure to humans via drinking water. Increase knowledge for PFASs||Not relevant||All PFASs||Yes||Whole life cycle||Voluntary, Regulatory||Yes||Potentially regulations and/or voluntary agreement|
|Investigating and if needed suggest national and/or EU regulations and other measurements, specially for fire-fighting foams||Manage the manufacture, sale, import and export||Not relevant||All PFASs||Yes||Use in products and articles||Voluntary and regulatory||Yes||Potentially regulations and/or voluntary agreement|
|Mapping of uses and applications of PFAs and the alternatives on the market||Literature survey||Not relevant||All PFASs||Yes||Use in products and articles||Literature survey||No||None|
|Action value for drinking water||Manage exposure||Water management||Sum of seven PFAS (PFOA, PFHpA, PFHxA, PFPeA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFBS)||No||Product use?||Regulatory||No||
Water treatment measures
|Collection of analytical data of PFAS in drinking water from Swedish municipalities||Risk assessment||-||All PFASs||-||Discharges from all life cycles are addressed||Voluntary||Yes||
|Monitoring and screening of PFASs in the environment||Continuous monitoring||Not relevant||-||No||Discharges from all life cycles are addressed||Analysis||No||Monitoring|
|Development of preliminary guidelines values for PFAS in soil and groundwater||-||Not relevant||-||No||Discharges from all life cycles are addressed||Analysis||No||Basis for the preparation of general guidelines regarding remediation of PFAS- contaminated areas|
|Proposal for Environmental Quality Standard level for PFOS in groundwater body||-||-||PFOS||-||-||Regulatory||-||-|