Restriction of PFAS Chemicals: A Comparative Analysis between the USA, Europe, and Turkey

3/2/20243 min read

grayscale photo of man
grayscale photo of man


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have gained significant attention due to their widespread use and potential adverse effects on human health and the environment. PFAS are known for their unique properties, including resistance to heat, water, and oil, making them useful in various industrial and consumer products.

However, growing concerns about the persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity of PFAS have prompted regulatory actions worldwide. In this blog post, we will explore the restrictions placed on PFAS chemicals in the United States, Europe, and Turkey, highlighting the similarities and differences in their approaches.

Restrictions in the United States

The United States has taken significant steps to address the risks associated with PFAS chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been at the forefront of regulating PFAS, focusing on specific substances within the broader group. Two of the most well-known PFAS compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), have been subject to regulatory action.

In 2006, the EPA established a voluntary phase-out program with major chemical manufacturers to eliminate the production and use of PFOA and PFOS by 2015. Additionally, the EPA has set a health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for these compounds in drinking water.

While the EPA has not yet implemented a nationwide ban on PFAS chemicals, individual states have taken the initiative to enact their own regulations. For example, California has set a drinking water notification level of 10 ppt for PFOA and PFOS, significantly lower than the EPA's advisory level.

Restrictions in Europe

Europe has been proactive in addressing the risks associated with PFAS chemicals. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has classified some PFAS substances as substances of very high concern (SVHC) under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation.

One notable PFAS compound, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been classified as an SVHC due to its persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic properties. As a result, PFOA is subject to authorization under REACH, meaning its use is restricted unless specific authorization is granted.

Furthermore, the European Union (EU) has implemented regulations specific to PFAS chemicals in certain products. For example, the EU has restricted the use of PFAS in food contact materials, such as packaging and kitchen utensils.

Restrictions in Turkey

Turkey, like other countries, recognizes the potential risks associated with PFAS chemicals and has taken steps to regulate their use. The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization in Turkey has implemented regulations to control the production, use, and release of PFAS substances.

Under the Turkish legislation, the production, import, and use of certain PFAS substances are subject to authorization. The regulation also sets limits for the release of PFAS into the environment, aiming to prevent contamination and protect human health.

Additionally, Turkey has established monitoring programs to assess the levels of PFAS in various environmental media, such as water, soil, and air. This data helps inform decision-making and ensure compliance with the regulations.

Comparative Analysis

While the restrictions on PFAS chemicals vary between the United States, Europe, and Turkey, there are some commonalities in their approaches. All three regions recognize the potential risks associated with PFAS and have taken steps to regulate their production, use, and release.

The United States has focused on specific PFAS compounds, such as PFOA and PFOS, setting health advisory levels and encouraging voluntary phase-outs. Individual states have gone further by implementing their own regulations to protect public health and the environment.

Europe, through the REACH regulation, has classified certain PFAS substances as SVHC and restricted their use unless authorized. The EU has also implemented specific restrictions on PFAS in food contact materials, recognizing the potential for human exposure through these products.

Turkey has implemented regulations to control the production, import, use, and release of PFAS substances. Authorization requirements and limits on environmental releases aim to prevent contamination and protect human health.


The restrictions on PFAS chemicals in the United States, Europe, and Turkey reflect the growing concerns about their potential adverse effects. While there are variations in the specific approaches and regulations, all three regions are taking steps to mitigate the risks associated with PFAS.

Continued research, monitoring, and collaboration between countries and regulatory agencies are crucial in addressing the challenges posed by PFAS chemicals. By implementing effective restrictions and promoting safer alternatives, we can work towards minimizing the environmental and health impacts of these persistent substances.