The EMEA Synthetic Turf Council (ESTC) has informed the industry that it will not provide any input into the consultation process the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) is currently running.
Having consulted with their members twice, the ESTC, the custodian of the synthetic turf industry in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has concluded that they have insufficient information to judge whether a ban will impact the production process of synthetic turf. Synthetic turf producing companies are therefore advised to familiarize themselves with the ECHA process and requirements to determine whether there is a need to provide input.
PFAS, better known as the ‘forever chemicals,’ are a group of thousands of chemicals that are primarily hailed for their water, grease and dirt repellent capacities. They are being used in a wide variety of products, including lubricants, food packaging materials, textiles and cosmetics. They are also used in various industrial applications and processes.
With regards to synthetic turf, the chemicals are used as a lubricant in the production process of the yarn. This is to prevent the hot plastic from sticking to the machine, thereby causing the yarn to break or clog up the machinery.
Threat to the environment
As their nickname ‘forever chemicals’ has already hinted, PFAS hardly degenerate, making them a threat to the environment. With this in mind, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden asked ECHA to investigate the possibilities of a ban on all PFAS in the European Union.
The ECHA publication consultation process started on 22 March and will close on 25 September this year.