Research

Four ULiège researchers on Wallonia's new independent Scientific Council on PFAS


In Research

Acting on a proposal from the Minister for the Environment, Céline Tellier, the Walloon Government today approved the creation of an independent scientific council to advise the Government and examine all the consequences of per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) on human health. The Government has specified the tasks and composition of this group of six experts, including Corinne Charlier, Jean-François Deliège, Gauthier Eppe and Célia Joaquim Justo, scientists at the University of Liège.

F

ollowing information on the presence of PFAS in the environment, and more specifically in the drinking water distributed between October 2021 and March 2023 in the municipalities served by the Chièvres well, the Walloon Government has undertaken to take a series of measures to protect citizens and the environment from exposure to such pollutants.

Last Thursday, the Walloon Government tasked Environment Minister Céline Tellier with rapidly putting forward proposals to set up a group of scientific experts to advise the Government and examine all the consequences of PFAS for people's health. On 22 November, the Walloon Government approved this group of experts' constitution, composition and precise remit.

Composition of the Scientific Advisory Board on PFAS

The Scientific Advisory Board is made up of a wide range of complementary academic and scientific profiles with considerable expertise in the field of PFAS.

The Scientific Advisory Board is made up of the following members, who may be added to as required:

Tasks

The Council's general remit will be to advise the Government and examine the health consequences of PFAS.

The tasks to be carried out as a matter of urgency by the Scientific Advisory Board are as follows:

  • Issue an opinion on the scientific protocol to be proposed by the ISSeP to enable medical monitoring of the people concerned in areas where the future standard of 100 ng/l has been exceeded in the water supply. This protocol will also need to be validated by the Ethics Committee in accordance with current legislation.
  • Refine, if necessary, the general health recommendations already announced or those relating to specific groups (e.g. infants, pregnant women, etc.);

Once these emergencies have been met, the Council's remit will be to:

  • Identify the vectors for the spread of PFAS in the environment in order to determine the role of drinking water in this spread;
  • Assess the need, if any, to revise the standards for PFAS concentrations in the environment, including the action levels for PFAS concentrations in drinking water
  • Formulate recommendations for additional government actions in the fight against PFAS.

In a second phase, the Walloon Government will examine the possible need to take measures relating to the other substances covered by the decree on drinking water passed by the Walloon Parliament last April. The Government may ask the Council to do so.

The Council will meet as soon as possible to carry out its urgent tasks as a matter of priority.


ODDs
ODD 3 : Bonne santé et bien-être
Donner aux individus les moyens de vivre une vie saine et promouvoir le bien-être à tous les âges Le troisième objectif vise à assurer la santé et le bien-être de tous, en améliorant la santé procréative, maternelle et infantile, en réduisant les principales maladies transmissibles, non transmissibles, environnementales et mentales.

Share this news