What is PFAS?

PFAS is a collective term for a large group of synthetic per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemical substances. The substances have a variety of characteristics such as surfactant qualities and grease, dirt and water repellent properties. Due to their many properties, they have a wide field of application and have been used in fire foam, as impregnations and in cleaning agents, etc.


Where can we find PFAS?

Unfortunately, PFAS are everywhere in our environment. The substances are spread during production but mainly from waste items containing PFAS. Because they are very persistent, they remain in the environment.


Are PFAS dangerous?

Long-term exposure to PFAS has been linked to toxicological effects on the environment and humans, in particular the immune system and liver. They are often linked to cholesterol levels, various cancers and low weight in newborn children. But as yet, we are probably unaware of all the effects the various substances may have.


What’s the difference between long and short PFAS?

The difference between long and short PFAS chains is the length of the PFAS molecules. The difference in length affects their properties and how the molecules behave in the environment. Short chains were previously thought to be less dangerous as they are not retained in the body for as long, but things are more complex than that. However, short PFAS chains are much more difficult to clean away from e.g. contaminated water than the longer PFAS, which is a problem. Chromafora’s SELPAXT method is unique, in part because it captures short PFAS as well as it does long.


Can we remove existing PFAS from land and water?

Yes, but results will vary depending on the technology. While conventional treatment techniques such as activated carbon, ion exchangers and foam fractionation can be used initially to capture long PFAS, they quickly lose efficacy.

Chromafora’s technology provides consistent performance over time. This applies to both long and short PFAS. Furthermore, the SELPAXT technology generates only 0.1 percent waste compared to conventional methods that can generate up to 30 percent.


Why should we choose the SELPAXT technology?

To achieve maximum removal of both long and short PFAS chains from water, and at the same time benefit from low energy consumption and minimum waste generation.

How does Chromafora ensure optimal PFAS removal?

We begin by testing the water concerned in our laboratory to assess the level of contamination Next, we demonstrate the SELPAXT method on a larger scale over a longer period of time at the customer’s location to verify the technology, after which we are able to plan a full-scale plant at the customer’s site.


What laws and regulations are currently in force for the use of PFAS?

Because chemicals legislation rarely applies to groups of chemicals, only a few PFAS are covered by various regulatory codes. Today, three PFAS substances and their salts (PFHxS, PFOS and PFOA) are included in the Stockholm Convention and are prohibited or must be phased out as soon as possible.

Also, the REACH Regulation includes more than 200 PFAS (long chain), the use of which will be restricted as of 25 February 2023, with certain exceptions.

The County Administrative Board may task a business that holds an environmental permit to resolve a PFAS problem and oblige it to find a technology to detoxify the water within a given period of time. This is often when Chromafora is contacted to form part of the solution.

What laws, regulations and limit values are in place regarding PFAS discharges?

There are currently no limit values for discharges from goods, but there are for the presence of PFAS in soil and water. Latterly, limit values for discharges to water have also begun to appear. They are regulated in specific environmental permits and the Water Framework Directive.


Can people protect themselves from PFAS?

It is difficult to protect yourself from PFAS. Today, PFAS are everywhere. Requiring products and goods to be PFAS free will reduce direct exposure, but if PFAS are to disappear from food, drinking water and the environment, we need to ban the use of PFAS and clean the environment from the PFAS that have leaked out since the 1950s.


Why haven’t we detoxified soil and water from the PFAS that have already been discharged?

Only in recent years has research been able to prove how dangerous PFAS are. Not until now have there been adequately effective technologies able to detoxify the environment from PFAS.


Learn more about PFAS

Swedish Chemicals Agency
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Swedish National Food Agency