UK could exempt heat pumps from PFAS regs


A new report into the usage of PFAS chemicals in Great Britain has suggested that exemptions could be considered for refrigerants in heat pumps and refrigeration systems.

In what is said to be the most comprehensive British analysis of these chemicals ever, the new report from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified the most common and most harmful uses of PFAS and what measures could be put in place to control and manage them.

The HSE report makes a number of recommendations including to limit the use of PFAS-containing fire-fighting foams, as well as the use of PFAS in textiles, furniture, and cleaning products.

It does, however, suggest that exemptions could be considered for PFAS in “low risk uses” such as refrigerants in heat pumps and refrigeration systems, subject to the availability of alternatives.

The analysis is a regulatory management options analysis (RMOA), a preliminary step used within the UK REACH framework. It is not a legislative or legally binding document. It collates, combines and analyses information to understand the nature and extent of exposure to chemical substances.

HSE, as the Agency for UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), will work with the Environment Agency and the appropriate authorities (Defra, Scotland and Wales) to consider the recommendations and how action on these recommendations will be set out in the forthcoming UK REACH Work Programme for 2023-24.

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Cooling Post, 04-04-23