PFAS restriction impossible - BPMA21 June 2023

Wayne Rose, pictured at right with British Pump Manufacturers Association president, and MD of pump supplier KSB UK, Dale Croker (at left)

Wayne Rose of the marketing commission Secretariat of trade association Europump, and newly-appointed CEO of the BPMA, offers insight into the pump sector’s position in relation to the restrictions on using per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

From the central heating and water supply in our homes, sewage and wastewater treatment in our cities, through to the extraction and processing of raw materials to manufacture finished products, pumps and pumping systems play a fundamental role in daily life. Future applications linked to the all-important green transition would include the transportation and storage of hydrogen, geothermal, and other gases.

Due to their unmatched thermal and chemical resistance, unique tribological properties, and any combination of these characteristics, PFAS-containing materials are used in virtually all of these applications, as sealings, bearings, cable sheaths, coatings, pump inserts and membranes.

However, given that PFAS materials are up to one hundred times more expensive than any of the natural or synthetic elastomers, they are only used in those cases where absolutely no alternative is available. Currently, no alternative material guarantees the same levels of performance, safety, and/or working lifetime. Therefore, any substitution with other less suitable materials would lead to rapid failures and leakages, which could result in the release of aggressive media, harmful gases, or steam, which could in turn cause serious injury to both humans and the environment.

Furthermore, the challenge faced by the lack of PFAS-free alternatives for essential use is not limited to pump applications, and applies equally to other key pieces of equipment such as valves and compressors in downstream industries like pharma, chemicals, petrochemicals, and aerospace. Additionally, some electronic components which are critical for the safe and efficient operation of these applications also require the use of PFAS based materials.

So, although Europump, representing Europe’s pump manufacturers, fully supports any regulation aimed at preventing PFAS substances from entering the environment, it must be stated that in certain pump (and other related product) applications the use of PFAS remains essential, due to safety, efficiency, and functionality concerns.

Given that no suitable substitutes for these specific applications are currently available, the use of PFAS materials should remain possible, so that pollution of the environment by other acutely hazardous substances can be prevented, and any harm to humans avoided.

The full Europump position paper is available via


Wayne Rose officially became the new director and CEO of the BPMA in April, following the retirement of his longstanding predecessor, Steve Schofield.

Having previously spent 24 years in various management roles at Manchester-based Armstrong Fluid Technology, Rose brings a wealth of pump industry experience. Reporting to the board, and assisted by Gary Wild as technical officer and Steve Smith as associate director, Wayne will assume commercial responsibility for the day-to-day running of the organisation, whilst also engaging with elected BPMA council members.

On taking up his new role, Rose said: “Assuming the post of CEO of the BPMA is a real privilege. My entire career has been spent working with pumps, or their related systems, and throughout I have engaged heavily with the Association. I have seen first-hand what influence it has across the international arena, and how that influence has served the commercial interests of its members, whatever their specific pump type or related discipline. As such, I look forward to building on the great work carried out by my predecessor, and to further developing the support structure it provides to this most important of industry sectors.”

Wayne Rose

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