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France Moves Forward with PFAS Ban Amid Industry Pushback

France proposes to ban PFAS in cosmetics, wax and textile products, with the exception of cookware.

Despite opposition from the government and industries, French National Assembly nodded through a proposed bill aimed at protecting the population from the risks linked to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on April 4, 2024. The bill will proceed to the Senate for deliberation.

The bill came as Europe is on track to develop an initiative which will result in a broad PFAS restriction. However, this initiative is conditioned on a long decision-making process and could succeed, in the most favorable scenario, by 2027-2028. Highlighting the urgent need to address the irreversible accumulation of these substances in the environment, Greens MP Nicolas Thierry, the proponent of the bill, emphasized that France should take proactive measures without delay to combat these persistent pollutants.

Unsurprisingly, the bill faced strong opposition from industries, particularly SEB, the global leader in non-stick frying pans, which sought an exemption for cookware initially included in the text. After negotiations, a unanimous agreement was reached, resulting in the removal of "products that come into contact with foodstuff" from the bill.

Accordingly, from January 1, 2026, the manufacture, import, export and placing on the market, free of charge or for a fee, of the following products containing PFAS shall be prohibited:

  • Any cosmetic product containing PFAS;

  • Any wax product containing PFAS;

  • Any textile product containing PFAS, with the exception of protective clothing for security and civil safety professionals.

This ban shall extend to all textile product containing PFAS from 2030.

In addition, the bill also applies the Polluters Pay Principle by introducing an additional environmental tax of 1000 euros per kilogram to the releases of PFAS into the natural environment directly or through a collection network.

France is also committed to step up monitoring of PFAS pollution in drinking water intended for human consumption. 

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