202101 Use of C8 fluorocarbon chemistry for PPE

Some types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), mainly protective garments, require a finish (with possible reapplication after the cleaning process) to maintain the protective characteristics. This is typically a fluorocarbon finish.


However, these finishes can be based on different chemistry, the so called C8 or C6 chemistry.


The EU has issued a restriction for Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which includes the C8 based fluorocarbons (Regulation 2017/1000 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32017R1000&from=EN and Regulation (EU) 2020/784 - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32020R0784).


This means that for PPE this restriction on the use of C8 fluocarbon based finishes  applies from 4/7/2023.


For C6, at this moment, no restriction has been decided. There is a process of consultation ongoing, where in the original proposals a restriction for PPE is excluded. This process will certainly still take several months before a final decision is taken.


It also has to be remarked that European manufacturers have already stopped producing or using C8 chemistry for fluorocarbon finishes for textiles. The C6 chemistry has already become the norm.

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