Norway adopts PFOA sales ban
testube OSLO – Norway has become the first European country to introduce legislation that bans the sale of products and textiles containing PFOA. While Norway’s decisiveness on this issue is welcome, Ecotextile News understands there are calls to extend the transition period for this ban as there is currently no agreed procedure to test down to the trace levels that Norway’s Climate and Environment Ministry is talking about – namely 0.001 per cent PFOA in a mixture, 1.0 ug/m2 in textiles and 0.1 per cent of other products’ ‘constituent parts’.
Norway’s ban on the manufacture, import, exports and selling of consumer products and textiles containing PFOA is now in effect. Although after consultation with industry, it has been agreed that a transitional period, allowing the import and sale of products manufactured before 1 June, will last until 1 January 2018.
PFOA is a synthetic acid, which, in the textile industry, is primarily a by-product of other chemicals used in the manufacture of water and oil-resistant products. It is an unintended by-product of some ‘long-chain’ (C8) fluorine-based water and stain repellent fabric treatments.
Extremely persistent and bio-accumulative, concentrations in the environment, wildlife and in human blood are known to be increasing and studies show it can damage reproduction and be carcinogenic in living organisms.
According to the Norway’s Climate and Environment Ministry, the determination of limit values for “individual parts of a solid product” will be based on the definition of the term “article” as stated in article 3 of the REACH regulation.
“This is an important measure to eliminate the use and release of a substance we know have serious health and environmental harmful effects,” said Marit Kjeldby, deputy director environment directorate on introducing the ban, which took effect from 1 June.