Persistent, mobile (PM) substances are being recognized as serious threats to the safety of water resources. In many cases, drinking water supplies have to be purified using expensive technologies because of contamination by PM substances. The most famous example of PM substances are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), but there are numerous others. This worldwide problem has triggered new policy and monitoring actions and the European Green Deal contains a broad initiative for chemical and water regulations for PM substances.
As part of this effort, a new, wide-reaching European research project – Zero pollution of persistent, mobile substances (ZeroPM) – will start in autumn 2021. Funded under the H2020 call "Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future: Research and innovation in support of the European Green Deal: Innovative, systemic zero-pollution solutions to protect health, environment and natural resources from persistent and mobile chemicals", ZeroPM includes 15 partners and will run for 5 years. The project is led by the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute with Dr. Sarah Hale as project coordinator and Prof. Hans Peter Arp as co-coordinator. Fraunhofer ITEM will contribute to the hazard identification and characterization of PM substances.
ZeroPM will interlink and synergize prevention, prioritization and removal strategies to protect the environment and human health from PM substances. To do this, ZeroPM will establish an evidence-based multilevel framework to guide policy, technological and market incentives to minimize the use, emissions and pollution with entire groups of PM substances.
ZeroPM will deliver policy improvements, an increase in business opportunities and competitiveness, an improved livelihood for EU citizens and beyond, and state-of-the-art methods, to prevent regrettable substitution and regrettable remediation of PM substance groups. ZeroPM will be the pathfinding project enabling the ambitions of the Chemical Strategy to become an on-the-ground reality, supporting the movement towards a zero pollution, toxic-free environment.