POPFREE – Promotion of PFAS-free alternatives
POPFREE is an innovation project, financed by Vinnova, aiming to promote products free from PFAS. Within POPFREE we will develop PFAS-free alternatives and contribute to increased awareness about the risks with PFAS and demand for PFAS-free products, from production to consumers.
PFAS stands for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances and is a large group of chemicals that have great water and dirt repellent properties, are film-forming and can resist high temperatures. PFAS is therefore found in everything from water-repellent clothing, make-up, food contact paper, and furniture to ski wax and fire foam.
Unfortunately, PFAS also has adverse effects on health and environment. They are extremely persistent (degrade extremely slowly) and contaminate our water, air, and food. Elevated levels of PFAS have been found in 144 municipal water sources in Sweden. PFAS can accumulate in the blood and in organs such as the liver and kidneys. Some of the substances are carcinogenic and studies on animals have shown that they can affect both reproduction and our immune system.
A PFAS phase-out has a strong focus in the EU's Chemicals Strategy and a proposal to regulate PFAS as a group is being drafted by five member states. This can lead to that PFAS will no longer be allowed in many different products and applications.
Many companies have or are in the process of phasing out PFAS and choose to act before the legislation enters into force in order not to contribute to the further pollution of PFAS into the environment.
POPFREE aims to, with product development and communication contribute to the transition into a world free from non-essential use of PFAS.