Defending Teflon


The patent holder of Teflon™, US Fortune 500 chemical company Chemours, approached Alber & Geiger seeking regulatory and advocacy support over a European Union proposal that would ban all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Those PFAS are chemicals that came under regulatory fire as being the so called “forever chemicals”, which persist in the environment. The political turbulences in the EU started in the Netherlands, continued in Italy and Germany then, until they became an EU wide regulatory initiative in Brussels.


On the one hand we were confronted with planned PFAS bans in The Hague, Rome and Berlin which we had to politically manage with the national governments. On the other hand we saw a regulatory initiative develop in Brussels under the EU chemicals strategy. We embarked on a defense for the Chemours specific PFAS named GenX and Teflon™, based on the planned PFAS restrictions. Considering the impact of the restrictions to the supply chains of various Member States, Alber & Geiger entered into discussions with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Commission, the European Parliament, the EU Permanent Representations and the Member States’ Ministries of Industry and Environment.


We managed to stop the national PFAS bans in The Hague, Berlin and Rome. And we aligned them with the EU initiative. There, we made EU regulators and lawmakers understand that they needed to differentiate between different PFAS, such as PFAS of high or low concern, as a liquid, gas or solid material.