Eternal Pollutants: French Senate Committee Supports Limiting PFAS #867


Paris – On Wednesday, the Senate adopted in committee a green proposal to restrict the manufacture and sale of products containing PFAS, or eternal pollutants, slightly modifying it before its examination in the chamber on May 30.


Widely followed since its adoption by the National Assembly in early April, this text received a “consensual” welcome in the Sustainable Development Committee of the upper house, which adopted it overwhelmingly despite some opposition within the Republicans, according to several parliamentary sources.

“The health and environmental issue of PFAS is well-known, and everyone recognizes that legislative intervention is necessary,” explained centrist Senator Bernard Pillefer, rapporteur of this bill, to AFP.

Massively present in everyday life (Teflon pans, food packaging, textiles, automobiles…), these per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, called PFAS, owe their nickname to their very long life cycle and, for some, their harmful effect on health.

The main article of the text presented by ecologist deputy Nicolas Thierry proposes to ban, from January 1, 2026, the manufacture, importation, and sale of any cosmetic product, ski wax, or clothing textile containing PFAS, except for protective clothing for security and civil protection professionals.

This key measure was approved in the Senate committee, despite several adjustments such as the inclusion of shoes among the prohibited products and the exclusion of products containing “residual traces” of PFAS, with the maximum level to be defined by decree. However, the ban on kitchen utensils, removed from the text by deputies, was not reintroduced despite the requests of ecologists.

“The modifications do not distort the text. We are far from the unravelling that we feared,” ecologist Senator Jacques Fernique told AFP, although he would have liked to go further on the scope of the ban. “The Senate has committed to advancing in a bipartisan manner, and this sends a clear signal: the phase-out of PFAS is underway,” he added.

“It is impossible today to dismiss a law on PFAS,” supported Mr. Pillefer, hoping to have “reassured” the more hesitant while advocating for this issue to be primarily addressed “at the European level.”

The committee also introduced into the text the obligation for the government to develop an “action plan” on funding the decontamination of drinking water, aimed at local authorities. (AFP)

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