France addresses concerns about PFAs, the forever chemicals that are threatening all lifeforms


The French government has announced a new action plan on PFAs, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances often described as forever chemicals or eternal pollutants, that seeks to raise awareness on the threats they pose to all lifeforms on Earth.  

PFAs have been used in consumer products since the 1950s. They are present in items such as non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpets and clothes, and are notoriously difficult to destroy.  


PFAs are made up of chains of fluorine and carbon atoms – one of the strongest bonds there is – and therefore they do not degrade quickly or easily over time, leading to build-ups of these chemicals in the environment, as well as in humans. 

They have been found in groundwater supplies, surface water and soil, meaning that the food grown and eaten by the population often has an accumulation of these substances in them. 

The effects of these substances, which have been linked to serious health risks such as fertility and low birth weight issues, thyroid cancer, liver damage, and decreased vaccination responses in infants, are now getting the attention from authorities that they deserve. 

Five EU countries – Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden – are seeking EU-wide bans on all PFAs and the momentum is building in France too.  


France is aiming to tackle the problem via an inter-ministerial action plan to limit the risks and usage of PFAs, and Roland Lescure, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, in charge of Industry and Energy, announced on 4th April a 26-point plan that focuses in on five key areas.  

These areas include: acquiring knowledge of methods for measuring emissions, dissemination and exposure; improving and strengthening surveillance along with mobilising the resulting data to act; reducing the risks associated with exposure to PFAs; innovation by involving economic players and support research; and improving awareness of PFAs and their affiliated risks among the public. 

For more information on the plan, click here

Read related:

Monaco Ocean Week: World-first report into life cycle of plastics delivers shocking results


Join the Monaco Life community – sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Threads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Tik Tok.  


Photo source: