THE ECOWASTE Coalition pressed for a ban on the use and manufacture of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs), which pose a threat to human health and the environment.
“PFAs, which have earned the nickname ‘forever chemicals’ because they hardly degrade in the natural environment, should be banned as a class to halt the extensive PFAs pollution affecting the entire planet,” the group said in a statement over the weekend.
EcoWaste Coalition said it has sent a letter to the Environmental Management Bureau to consider the ban on PFAs; include PFAs in the Philippine Priority Chemicals List; issue a chemical control order for PFAs; and support the global ban on the use and production of PFAs.
PFAs are used in the production of various consumer products such as clothing, food packaging, cooking utensils, furniture, and electric wire insulation due to strong resistance to high heat, water, oil, grease, stains, and natural degradation.
EcoWaste Coalition said that PFAs have been detected in rainwater, over 30,000 umbilical cord blood samples of newborn babies, and in the blood of over 330 wildlife species.
“In the Philippines, a study by researchers at the University of the Philippines (UP) Institute of Biology found elevated levels of PFAs in women with breast cancer in the Greater Manila Area,” the group said.
PFAs and its derivatives are currently not included in the country’s list of banned, restricted, severely restricted and regulated chemicals, according to EcoWaste citing the National Profile on Chemical Management prepared by the Department of Health and UP. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave