Baltic Leadership Programme on Per- and Poly Fluoroalkyl Substances

Swedish Institute is organizing Baltic Leadership Programme (BLP) on per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS is the collective name for over 3000 industrially produced, highly fluorinated chemicals. They are used in many products such as firefighting foams, impregnating agents (e.g. for water-proofing, packaging) and ski waxes. PFAS can be hazardous to human health and the environment due to their toxic, bio-accumulative and highly persistent nature. Knowledge and data as to origins, pathways, accumulation and impacts of PFAS around the Baltic Sea is variable, often sparse, and mostly incomparable. The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission, or Helcom) has begun work on a comprehensive regional report on PFAS including a mapping of literature, policy instruments and data; data analysis; and the tracking of sources, pathways and impacts. Helcom has enlisted PA Hazards to contribute to this report.

Besides long-distance transport of PFAS and contamination of the Baltic Sea via deposition from air, there is evidence showing that local sources (e.g. fire-fighting foams used at airports or training sites) will first contaminate the local environment, but later contribute to contamination of the Baltic Sea. In the local environment, wells and thus the drinking water may be contaminated, with subsequent exposure of humans. More information on local contamination will increase the possibility to protect consumers but also to fulfill requirements according to the EU Water Framework Directive and the Drinking Water Directive.

Municipalities and regions have a great responsibility in the direct implementation and usage of such substance. However, the awareness is deficient.

Municipalities and regional authorities wishing to participate should submit their applications attached with a CV written in English by 15 August at the latest. After that the final participants will be chosen.

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