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Scientific journal publication

Zürich II Statement on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs): Scientific and Regulatory Needs

DeWitt, Jamie C.; Glüge, Juliane; Cousins, Ian T.; Goldenman, Gretta; Herzke, Dorte; Lohmann, Rainer; Miller, Mark; Ng, Carla A.; Patton, Sharyle; Trier, Xenia; Vierke, Lena; Wang, Zhanyun; Adu-Kumi, Sam; Balan, Simona; Buser, Andreas M.; Fletcher, Tony; Haug, Line Småstuen; Huang, Jun; Kaserzon, Sarit; Leonel, Juliana; Sheriff, Ishmail; Shi, Ya-Li; Valsecchi, Sara; Scheringer, Martin

Publication details

Journal: Environmental Science and Technology Letters (ES&T Letters), 2024

Doi: doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.4c00147

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a class of synthetic organic chemicals of global concern. A group of 36 scientists and regulators from 18 countries held a hybrid workshop in 2022 in Zürich, Switzerland. The workshop, a sequel to a previous Zürich workshop held in 2017, deliberated on progress in the last five years and discussed further needs for cooperative scientific research and regulatory action on PFASs. This review reflects discussion and insights gained during and after this workshop and summarizes key signs of progress in science and policy, ongoing critical issues to be addressed, and possible ways forward. Some key take home messages include: 1) understanding of human health effects continues to develop dramatically, 2) regulatory guidelines continue to drop, 3) better understanding of emissions and contamination levels is needed in more parts of the world, 4) analytical methods, while improving, still only cover around 50 PFASs, and 5) discussions of how to group PFASs for regulation (including subgroupings) have gathered momentum with several jurisdictions proposing restricting a large proportion of PFAS uses. It was concluded that more multi-group exchanges are needed in the future and that there should be a greater diversity of participants at future workshops.