Another week of major news updates as the EU goes foreward in implementing its Chemcials Strategy for Sustainability in relation to persistent and mobile substances! REACH revision likely delayed until next Commission The European Commission adopted on 17 October 2023 its work programme for 2024, the last one before the EU elections in June 2024. …
We have several big and exciting updates this month, as the EU goes foreward in implementing its Chemcials Strategy for Sustainability in relation to persistent and mobile substances! Council and Parliament agree on phase out of F-gases by 2050 On 5 October the Council and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the revision of …
Our monthly update on the roll out of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability as it relates to persistent and mobile substances. We are a bit late this month, as not much happend in August. Expect a big update in October as September was quite a busy month! ECHA to start reviewing substances of concern …
Chemicals that do not degrade in the environment, “forever chemicals” and “persistent chemicals”, are increasingly recognised as a global threat.
They are now ubiquitous in drinking water and in human blood of the global population. They are very difficult remove once in the environment and the sources of our drinking water. They are often transported over vast distances. Persistent and mobile chemicals can be found in the most remote places, including the Mariana Trench and in the blood of Arctic animals such as polar bears. Without action, their presence will only increase and accumulate.
Chemicals that are persistent have until recently been targeted by regulation only if they are also accumulating in living organisms (bioaccumulation). Recently, though, it has been recognized that persistent chemicals that remain in the water phase and thereby can move over wide distances (mobility) are equally problematic.
The combination ofpersistence and mobility makes it difficult to remove such chemicals during drinking water production, at sewage treatment plants or though natural processes like bio degradation and groundwater filtration. Persistent and mobile chemicals remain in drinking water even after purification. They are found in aquifers and can waterways even in the most remote areas of the planet, threatening the few, truly pristine water sources we have left. This project is about building on the existing knowledge base and find solutions to how to reduce the presence of these persistent and mobile (PM) chemicals in the environment. We will prevent their emissions, prioritize the most urgent ones to address and remove them from the environment. Welcome to ZeroPM!
ZeroPM will be the pathfinding project enabling the ambitions of the Chemicals Strategy of zero pollution of persistent and mobile substances to become an on-the-ground reality. ZeroPM is a research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that will run from October 2021 – October 2026. ZeroPM will interlink and synergize three strategies to protect the environment and human health from persistent, mobile substances: Prevent, Prioritize and Remove.
To Preventpollution of persistent and mobile (PM) substances, ZeroPM will activate the momentum of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic Free Environment (also referred to as the Chemicals Strategy) to support its implementation through the development of scientific, policy and market tools for the substitution and mitigation of prioritized, non-essential persistent and mobile substances to safer and sustainable alternatives. ZeroPM will:
Provide safer chemical alternatives to non-essential uses of persistent and mobile substances
Stimulate and support policy changes to more effectively tackle persistent and mobile substances
Assist a market transition away from harmful persistent and mobile substances
To choose the persistent and mobile substances for which this is most urgent, ZeroPM will Prioritize persistent and mobile substances and substance groups through the development and application of robust screening and prioritization tools. These tools will identify all persistent and mobile substances on the global chemical market, taking into consideration their production, use, presence in the circular economy, exposure, hazards and risks. ZeroPM will:
Prioritize persistent and mobile substances and substance groups on the global chemical market for prevention and removal
Characterise and quantify impacts of persistent and mobile substances on human health and the environment
To Remove, ZeroPM will focus on geographically impacted areas and prioritized groups of PM substances, and develop next generation remediation methods to remove persistent and mobile substances from water resources, drinking water and sludge-derived products. ZeroPM will:
Demonstrate how and if legacy persistent and mobile substance pollution can be remediated
The complex relationship between the necessity of prevention, prioritization and removal approaches to reduce persistent and mobile substance pollution will be addressed in ZeroPM via the establishment of an evidence-based multilevel framework. The framework will guide policy, technological and market incentives to minimize use, emissions and pollution of entire groups of persistent and mobile substances. Two potential negative outcomes that can arise when not taking a systemic approach to chemical pollution are regrettable substitution (substituting one problematic chemical for another) and regrettable remediation (investing in remediation efforts more that cause more damage than the substance itself).
ZeroPMs’ multidisciplinary team has expertise within physical, life, social and behavioural sciences, policy and communication. Together with stakeholders, ZeroPM will develop, explore and critically evaluate strategies to Prevent, Prioritize and Remove persistent and mobile substances from the environment.
ZeroPM’s overall objective is: To establish an evidence-based multilevel framework for minimising use, emissions and pollution from persistent and mobile substances to protect European water resources and avoid risks to humans.
There are 8 central work packages in ZeroPM, which are all interconnected. WP1 will be monitoring and in contact with all of these work packages, as presented below.
To see the researchers involved in ZeroPM, please visit our work package specific pages: