248 attendees followed the third webinar on PFAS organized by the International Housewares Association (IHA) on July 26. Fran Groesbeck, Managing Director of the Cookware and Bakeware Alliance (CBA), Tom Lee, attorney at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP (BCLP), and Tobias Gerfin, President of FEC, gave an update on the latest developments of PFAS regulations in the US and Europe. The large number of attendees and the many questions that came up during the webinar show the relevance and urgency of this topic.
Tom Lee made a deep dive into the new Minnesota law HF2310 banning sales of PFAS containing cookware starting January 1, 2025. The definition of cookware is very broad containing not only pots and pans but also food container or anything used for food preparation. Tom pointed out that some definitions are not fully clear yet and will need a clarification by the regulators.
Tobias Gerfin explained the work of FEC over the last months. Until September 25, 2023, a consultation is under way by ECHA, the European Chemical Agency, to get feedback on the draft of a very broad PFAS restriction.
FEC has investigated the manufacturing and the end-of-life phase and concluded that both phases have a negligible impact of PFAS getting into the environment. Consequently, FEC gave the feedback to ECHA that fluoropolymers should be exempted from the PFAS restriction.
CBA and FEC both adhere to results of scientific research. A lot is written about PFAS at the moment, but the publications often group all PFAS together as if all 10’000 substances have the same properties. Both associations agree that hazardous substances should be restricted but this is not true for fluoropolymers being non-toxic and not mobile.
We thank the organizers from IHA for the opportunity and CBA and BCLP for the partnership.