A group of more than thirty academic and government scientists, in conjunction with regulators from agencies across the globe, have jointly outlined a set of needs, goals, and actions to help assess and manage the diverse and widely used group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the future. The Statement has been published in the open access journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
The Statement stresses that, while well-known legacy PFASs such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) have been investigated extensively and regulated over the past two decades in response to their identified hazardous properties, very little information exists regarding the current uses and potential hazards of many other PFASs.
Specifically, the Statement calls for increased collaboration in efforts such as gathering information to fill critical data gaps, developing novel schemes to focus on highly (or very highly) persistent chemicals, and conducting joint assessments for groups of PFASs.
The Statement builds upon earlier calls made by scientists regarding PFASs in the Madrid Statement in 2015 and in the Helsingør Statement in 2014. In these statements, a precautionary approach is promoted for the use of PFASs as well as a transition towards the development and use of less persistent or non-chemical alternatives.
The Zürich Statement is currently open for signatories. More information on how to do this is provided on the project page of the IPCP’s website.