Planned PFAS ban risks safety in key industries

The EU’s planned ban on the use of the entire PFAS group of substances, consisting of around 10,000 substances, threatens numerous industrial processes – including the production and trade of industrial valves.

These are used in important key industries – from supplies of urgently needed gases to the production of Corona vaccines and the pasteurisation of milk. Valves safeguard essential areas in industry and also in the everyday lives of people in Germany and Europe.

The VDMA, as the voice of the entire mechanical and plant engineering industry, and the VDMA Valves Association are campaigning for better, more practical PFAS regulation and rejecting a blanket ban.

“Without PFAS, industrial valves would no longer be usable in their sales sectors of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, in power plant construction or in the current growth market of hydrogen, which would not only slow down the energy turnaround,” said Axel Weidner, shareholder of Mankenberg and chairman of the Valves Association.

“Without it, safe processes in the aforementioned system-relevant key industries are also not possible.”

In order to protect the interests of the industry, the VDMA Valves Association has drawn up a statement for the industrial valves sector on the PFAS restriction project, which shows why an unreflected general ban on PFAS – that is also on those substances with a low hazard potential in industrial valves – would go too far and thus cause serious damage to the industry.

In its statement, the association calls for the general exemption of fluoropolymers, which are considered “polymers of low concern,” from the planned PFAS general ban. Fluoropolymers are high-performance plastics that are characterized by particularly high resistance. They have sealing, water-repellent and friction-reducing properties and prevent substances from adhering.