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Proposed UK PFAS ban will affect international marine industry

Industry News, News | June 21, 2023 | By:

The European Chemicals Agency and the United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive are examining proposals to ban the use of PFAS, which could have implications for the marine industry both in the United States and abroad, according to an article written by Katy Strickland in Practical Boat Owner magazine.

PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are found everywhere, including in homes and on boats. This complex group of synthetic chemicals, known as “forever chemicals,” are slow to degrade in the environment. They are present in thousands of products including gelcoat, waterproof clothing, sails, coatings, paints, varnish, sealants, solvents, water-based adhesives, food packaging, lithium-ion batteries, firefighting foam and marine hardware like latches, hinges, cleats, mounts and grab bars.

The article details how the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are looking at restricting the use of PFAS, due to their impact on the environment and human health. The proposal makes a number of recommendations including limiting the use of textiles, furniture, cleaning products and firefighting foams in the U.K. which contain PFAS.

British Marine, the trade association for the leisure super yacht and small commercial marine industry in the U.K., is engaging the issue through the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) to make recommendations to its members. Many firms in the marine industry have already taken steps to cut PFAS from their products, including the international sailmaker North Sails, which has been developing the new PFAS-free fabric Skylite.

To read the full article, click here.

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