UK REACH – PFAS RMOA - Call for evidence

Closes 30 Jan 2022

Opened 1 Dec 2021

Overview

The UK, Welsh and Scottish Governments have asked HSE and the Environment Agency to prepare a regulatory management options analysis (RMOA) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This RMOA will investigate the risks posed by PFAS and recommend the best approach to protect human health and the environment from any identified risks. This call for evidence aims to gather information and evidence that will support HSE and the Environment Agency with the preparation of the RMOA. We are interested in all aspects of the manufacture, import, hazard profile, use and exposure; these include environmental fate, waste and its disposal requirements, recycling opportunities for these substances and products that contain these substances, and any legislation and standards that apply, including product-specific legislation and standards.

UK REACH came into force at the end of the EU exit transition period (31st December 2020) and regulates the access of chemicals to the GB market. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, EU REACH continues to regulate the access of chemicals to the Northern Ireland market.

Please support your contribution with references and reliable data (facts and figures).

Background note

PFAS have a wide range of industrial, professional and consumer uses including:

  • As chemical intermediates and processing aids for fluoropolymer production
  • In surface coatings for textiles, food contact materials and packaging
  • In cleaning agents, paints, varnishes, polishes and waxes
  • In lubricants
  • In pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical devices and products
  • In the electronics and energy production sectors
  • In construction materials, including as polymers
  • In heat exchange systems
  • In fire suppression systems and in fire-fighting foams
  • In mist suppressants for metal plating

All articles, mixtures or substances that intentionally contain PFAS and that are used or marketed in Great Britain are within the scope of this call for evidence. We ask respondents to follow the OECD definition of PFAS:

Fluorinated substances that contain at least one fully fluorinated methyl or methylene carbon atom (without any H/Cl/Br/I atom attached to it), i.e., with the noted exceptions, any chemical with at least a perfluorinated methyl group (–CF3) or a perfluorinated methylene group (–CF2–) is a PFAS.

If you are unsure whether the substance you are providing information for is a PFAS, please submit your information anyway.

HSE’s Confidentiality and GDPR statements

HSE tries to make its call for evidence procedure as thorough and open as possible.

Information provided in response to this call for evidence may be subject to publication or disclosure in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)). Statutory Codes of Practice under the FOIA and EIR also deal with confidentiality obligations, among other things.

If you would like us to treat any of the information you provide as confidential, please make this clear in your response. If we receive a request under FOIA or EIR for the information you have provided, we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances.

An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will be disregarded for these purposes. Requests for confidentiality should be made explicit within the body of the response.

HSE will process all personal data in accordance with the GDPR. This means that personal data will not normally be disclosed to third parties and any such disclosures will only be made in accordance with the Regulations.

How to submit comments

Basic information can be provided in the call for evidence survey below. More detailed information should be provided in document(s) which can be submitted as attachments at the end of each section. We will not automatically publish information submitted in response to a call for evidence. However, it will be helpful if a “public version” of your information can be provided. We ask for this because we will share a draft version of the RMOA with interested stakeholders to allow them to comment on our proposed regulatory approach. By providing us with a non-confidential version of any information you submit, this will help us understand which information we can include in this draft RMOA. If you also want to provide confidential information in your submission, please additionally complete a “confidential version” and submit both versions as attachments. We will take account of both non-confidential and confidential information when deciding which regulatory approach to propose.

When responding to this questionnaire, please answer all question sets that are relevant to you. For example, if you manufacture the substance and also import the substance, please answer questions for both manufacture and import. You do not need to duplicate information if you have provided this under a previous question set. In this case, please indicate where in the questionnaire the information has been given. If you do not have time to complete this questionnaire (or do not find any questions relevant) but are willing to contribute information for the RMOA, please use the comment box under the question “Do you have any other information that you think might help HSE and/or the Environment Agency with this RMOA?” to indicate what information you are willing to share and tick that you are willing to be contacted by HSE and EA. This can be found in the section headed “Other questions” at the end of this call for evidence.

By submitting information as part of this call for evidence, you agree that any data provided (excluding your personal details) can be shared with the Environment Agency.

The call for evidence lasts for 60 days and closes at 23:59 London time (BST).

Call for evidence

Audiences

  • Restriction proposals

Interests

  • Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals (REACH)