Overview of Risk Reduction Approaches
Germany addresses chemical risk management mainly through EU regulations; and is engaging in dialogues with stakeholders to exchange information and signal to industry concerns related to PFASs and to convey information to the public. These dialogues include the feasibility of alternatives. In addition, Germany developed threshold and guide values to limit the amount of PFCAs and PFSAs in drinking water and sludge and developed a background document Do without per-and polyfluorinated chemicals and prevent their discharge into the environment.
Germany and fire-fighting associations compiled a leaflet on PFCs in fire-fighting. These programmes have resulted in an increased awareness of the risks associated with certain PFASs by industry, NGOs and the public. In developing these approaches, challenges that Germany has encountered include the number of chemicals within the PFAS group, the multitude of uses of the substances, and the availability of data.
The German Human Biomonitoring commission has decided to set HBM I values for PFOA and PFOS in blood plasma of 2 ng PFOA/ml and 5 ng PFOS/ml based on literature review (see report). The HBM I value represents the concentration of a substance in a body matrix below which, according to the Commission’s current assessment, adverse health effects are not expected and therefore, no exposure reduction measures are necessary. The Federal States of Germany proposed limit values for groundwater for several PFAS. The German Federal Environment Agency has been looking at PFC in drinking water and has thereby derived drinking water guide values or health orientation values for certain PFCs (see report).
Germany plans to identify short chain PFAS as substances of very high concern within the EU.
Table with Key Elements of Risk Reduction Approaches
|Action||Path taken||BEPs Implemented||Category of PFASss addressed||Articles covered?||Life cycle stage(s) addressed||Method of approach||Public- private partnership encouraged?||Level of constraint|
Dialogue with stakeholders to exchange information and convey concern re PFASs, and provide information to public
|Increase awareness for industry and public||No information available||All PFASs||Yes||Whole life cycle||Dialogue||Yes||None|
|Threshold and guide values for different media, e.g. drinking water and sludge||Manage exposure||Water management, off-gas and solid waste management||Perfluoroalkyl carboxylic and Sulfonic acids||No||Product use; Product disposal||Regulatory||No||
Water treatment measures
|Limit exposure, awareness rising||PFOA and PFOS||No||Analysis||
|Limit values for groundwater||Limit exposure||No||Short and long-chain PFAS||No||No||Analysis||No||