Pathways to remove hazardous substances from wastewater

PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a man-made pollutants responsible for making products water- or stain-resistant, providing a non-sticking coating or being components of firefighting foams. PFAS substances are hazardous to human health and the environment as many of them are toxic, bio-accumulative and highly persistent in the environment.

To address this issue, on 16 February 2021 we organized a workshop "Pathways to targeted PFAS removal – from policy to technology" to discuss the approaches to PFAS removal, joined by 50 participants. The workshop was held by the seed project EMPEREST that focuses on the current situation and viable solutions regarding sources and pathways of PFAS in the Baltic Sea region.

The workshop was opened and moderated by Markus Raudkivi, University of Tartu, introducing the topic of PFAS. In the following keynote, Valentina Bertato, European Commission, DG Environment, presented the initiatives to regulate PFASs at EU level and beyond. Then, the participants learned about Swedish perspective and experiences on regulatory PFAS activities introduced by Bert-Ove Lund from KEMI – Swedish Chemicals Agency. The overview of policies and strategies were followed by examples from Germany on Practical implementation of targeted micropollutant removal technologies in municipal WWTPs, provided by Dr.-Ing. Marie Launay, Micropollutants Competence Centre Baden-Württemberg.

The workshop finished with the interactive overview of the EMPEREST project plans, proposed actions and goals, and participants were invited to join the cooperation.

firefighter.