ATMOsphere (publisher of this media outlet) will convene on Wednesday, October 25, in Nairobi at a side event to the 35th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to discuss the problem of persistent chemicals such as per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also labelled as “forever chemicals,” in relation to fluorinated gases used as refrigerants.
The event will be held during lunch break, from 1 to 3 pm EAT in room CR-10. A light lunch will be offered before the kickoff of the event.
Following the interest sparked among delegates and observers during the PFAS-related side event held at the 45th Open Ended Working Group to the United Nation Montreal Protocol in Bangkok in July 2023, this event aims to shed light on the risk posed by continue reliance on persistent chemicals in heating and cooling applications. Experts will discuss thoroughly the issue of persistence related to PFAS, fluorinated gases and their degradation products, such as trifluoroacetic acid (TFA).
Professor Ian Cousins from Stockholm University will discuss the problems related to continue emission of persistent chemicals such as PFAS, touching on the framework of planetary boundaries. Much of Cousins’s recent work has focused on PFAS, working closely with analytical chemists to better understand the behavior of PFAS and other substances. Professor Hans Peter Arp, affiliated with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute & Norwegian University of Science and Technology, will further analyze the risk of continue emissions of TFA into the environment. Arp is interested in how different types of pollutants, such as microplastics, PFAS, PAHs, POPs and metals behave in the environment. Finally, Philipp Denzinger from the Green Cooling Initiative, and Thomas Trevisan from ATMOsphere will explain to attendees the availability of alternatives to halogenated substances in the Global South and across multiple heating and cooling applications.
F-gases have been included in the PFAS Restriction Intention submitted to the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) by five European countries. Currently, both the Socio-Economic Assessment Committee and the Risk Assessment Committee – two advisory body attached to ECHA – are developing their opinion on the file. Afterward, this file will be sent to the European Commission for assessment. A decision is expected by 2026.