Consultation on PFAS impacts on environmental and human health

The group of environmental contaminants known as PFAS (per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances) is the subject of a nation-wide investigation that will lead to the development of the PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (PFAS NEMP) by the Heads of EPAs Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy.

PFAS are a group of chemicals that include perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which have many specialty applications including firefighting foams, mist suppressants and coatings, and are widely used in a range of products in Australia and internationally.

They are not naturally broken down in the environment and persist in air, water and soil, but their effect on the environment and on human health is not yet fully understood.

Victoria EPA is leading the consultation process on a consultation draft document, and this will inform the final PFAS NEMP. Public meetings are being held by EPAs around the country, and comments on the consultation paper are due by September 25.

The final PFAS National Environmental Management Plan is expected to be provided to HEPA late in 2017.

More information is available here.

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