Testbed PFAS is a joint project between RISE, the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Defence Material Administration and the Swedish Fortifications Agency.
PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. It is a group of artificial highly fluorinated chemicals consisting of more than 4,700 different substances. Due to its excellent water and dirt repellent function, PFAS is used in many consumer goods and chemical products. The usage in consumer goods includes a wide range from clothes and shoes to food packaging. PFAS can also be found in products such as fire fighting foam, ski wax, cosmetics, furniture and electronics.
The PFAS substances are persistent, which means that they degrade very slowly. The chemicals remain in the natural environment and since the substances are water soluble, they permeate the ground and spread over large areas.
As the PFAS substances consist of a large group of chemicals with different properties, they behave differently in nature and in the human body. PFAS can adversely affect human and animal health. The two PFAS-substances PFOS and PFOA are classified as reproductive disruptors and are suspected to be carcinogenic. These two PFAS chemicals and various versions of them are regulated by EU legislation and may no longer be manufactured or marketed in products.
In late August 2021, the EU took the decision to ban a group of additional 200 PFAS substances. The EU, Sweden and several other Member States are working on limiting all PFAS substances.
The research in Testbed PFAS is a collaboration project between the Swedish Armed Forces, the Fortifications Agency, the Swedish Defence Material Administration and RISE. The research reports on partial results in October 2021. You are welcome to click further to read about the partial results in Testbed PFAS.