Unlike the information that was spread in the Belgian media over the past few days suggests, Umicore does not discharge any PFOS towards the river Scheldt. PFOS is not a by-product of Umicore’s processes, neither it is used as a reagent in our processes. In addition to our own sampling & monitoring program, environmental authorities such as VMM and Environmental Inspection regularly take samples from our discharge towards the river. We have never been informed on the detection of any relevant concentrations of PFOS, based upon their findings.
PFOS or perfluorooctane sulfonates are chemicals of the broad family of PFAS (poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances). These chemical substances are used in all kinds of everyday products for their good properties: they are water-, fat- and dirt-repellent. Very useful for making, say, mackintoshes, cleaning products, packaging or non-stick pans. – Source VRT NWS