‘Forever chemicals’: French MPs approve PFAS product ban

French MPs on Thursday approved the first reading of a bill aimed at restricting the manufacture and sale of non-essential products containing PFAS or "forever chemicals", marking a significant step in environmental health protection. The list of products, however, stopped short of including cookware after protests from manufacturers this week.

Following heated debate between the left and the presidential camp, the bill was approved unanimously by the National Assembly committee, with 186 votes in favour and none against.

The bill, introduced by environmentalist Nicolas Thierry, called for a ban on the manufacture, import and sale of any cosmetic product, wax product (for skis) or clothing textile product containing per- and polyfluoroalkylated (PFAS) substances, with the exception of protective clothing for safety and civil security professionals from January 1, 2026.

While the manufacture and sale of textiles containing PFAS will be forbidden from January 1, 2030, kitchen utensils – which were initially included in the ban – were removed from the list after right-wing and majority MPs cited manufacturers' arguments over risks to employment.

Invisible, omnipresent "forever chemicals" have been linked to a wide range of serious effects on human health, prompting growing calls for them to be banned.

Because PFAS take an extremely long time to break down – earning them the nickname "forever chemicals" – over the years they have seeped into the soil and groundwater, getting into our food chain and drinking water in the process.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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