Recommendations and conclusions for individual chemicals
Recommendation from POPRC on PFOS
The work of POPRC provides recommendations on PFOS phasing out:
•Recommendation on specific Applications;
•Recommendation regarding Information Gaps;
•Recommendation on Future Work.
Recommendation on specific Applications
One important recommendation stressed by POPRC was that Parties are encouraged to stop using PFOS for the following applications:
(i) Fire-fighting foams;
(ii) Insecticides for the control of red imported fire ants and termites;
(iii)Decorative metal plating;
(v) Leather and apparel;
(vi) Textiles and upholstery;
Because information is available on the commercial availability and effectiveness of safer alternatives to PFOS, Parties are encouraged to restrict the use of PFOS in hard metal plating to closed-loop systems only.
POPRC requests Parties and observers to provide information on use of PFOS or its alternatives and on quantities of PFOS for:
(i) Aviation hydraulic fluid;
(ii) Chemically driven oil production;
(iii) Electric and electronic parts for some colour printers and colour copy machines
In case of insect baits for the control of leaf-cutting ants from Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp., it should be considered the need for peer reviewed studies, such as pilot projects, in close cooperation with the national authorities in any country that still uses PFOS for this application, to evaluate the feasibility of alternatives to PFOS within an integrated pest management approach.
Recommendation Regarding Information Gaps
•Encourage Parties and stakeholders, such as industry and academia, to continue to identify and assess chemical and non‐chemical alternatives to PFOS;
•Encourage Parties to collect information to fill the gaps in information on alternatives to PFOS identified through the Committee’s work;
•Encourage Parties and industry to identify ways to make information on the properties of alternatives to PFOS publicly available;
•Invite Parties to make additional information available for:
* Revision of the guidance on alternatives to PFOS and its derivatives;
* Evaluation of the continued need for PFOS, its salts and PFOSF for the various acceptable purposes and specific exemptions.
Recommendation on Future Work
•Consider the need for further evaluation of certain alternatives identified in the technical paper that indicates that they might be of concern with regard to their health and environmental effects;
* Revise the guidance on alternatives to PFOS to incorporate the information contained in the technical paper on alternatives to PFOS in open applications;
* Participate in the assessment of information on alternatives to PFOS made available to the Conference of the Parties.
POPRC and COP Recommendation on risk reduction for PFOS and PBDE
Some of these recommendations might have relevance for other newly listed POPs used or present in articles and products. It is recommended to further assess these recommendations in respect to recommendations which are of general nature or which can be translated to other POPs and to evaluate what recommendation could be in a modified way be utilized for HBCD or Endosulfan and other POPs with potential relevance to articles and products.
Conclusions, Recommendations and future tasks (PFOS alternative document 2013)
Need for incentives
There is a need for incentives to develop safe, affordable and technologically feasible alternative substances and processes and to identify the driving forces for their development. The international requirements applying to all Parties to the Stockholm Convention, which must be implemented in national law, constitute one such incentive. Article 3 of the Stockholm Convention states that Parties with regulatory and assessment schemes for new chemical substances shall take measures to regulate with the aim of preventing the production and use of substances that exhibit characteristics of POPs. The development of national law is an important tool for promoting incentives to identify and use alternative substances and processes. Postponing the development of national law until perfect alternatives are available is not wise because manufacturers may not develop alternatives if they are not forced to do so.
Need for more public data and information on alternatives
Too few data are currently available publicly on the alternatives than to PFOS. Much of the information is from patent literature, and the identities of actual chemicals used are often not disclosed. This reinforces the need for implementation of paragraph 1 of Article 9 on the information exchange regarding alternatives to persistent organic pollutants.
Chemicals with structures similar to those of the listed PFOS substances could cause concerns similar to those related to the latter substances. This should be considered in evaluating alternatives.
Increasing effort will be needed to study the toxicological and environmental properties of alternatives and to make the resulting information public and trustworthy by publishing it in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
A strategic integrated approach to testing is needed to speed development of the data required to understand the issues and concerns relating to the various types of alternatives. The private sector/industry has a key responsibility in this regard.
Need for better communication in the value chain
It is important that the issues associated with PFOS as a globally recognized persistent organic pollutant, including the health and environmental risks, be made fully known to suppliers and industries at every step of the supply chain (including workers). Producers need to have better knowledge about the use of PFOS in processes, products and articles. It is also important to provide information to customers, workers and consumers so that they can develop informed opinions about the possible need to change products or processes. Industries that are proactive in phasing out the use of a very hazardous chemical such as PFOS are likely to reap future market advantages.
Need for more international cooperation
PFOS and its substitutes are being studied and evaluated in parallel by authorities in many countries. More international cooperation and private sector transparency can save resources and speed up processes. The OECD Parallel Process for the Notification of New Chemicals is one usefulapproach (for new chemicals) to consider in developing international collaboration on assessing potential alternatives to PFOS and other polyfluorinated chemicals of concern.