Technology acceptance of the PFAS Guide among European companies

Gina Zheng, Abby Muricho Onencan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In 2023, European governments submitted a proposal to comprehensively ban per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), prompting a shift toward PFAS-free alternatives. However, recent research has emphasized the need for an integrated approach to chemical assessment and environmental management rather than abrupt PFAS substitution, as alternatives may pose similar or greater risks. The PFAS Guide was developed to aid corporations in this critical transition. Its goal is to simplify PFAS identification, safe substitution, and gradual elimination. This study applies the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to assess how perceived usefulness (PU) and ease of use of the PFAS Guide impact corporate intentions to adopt it. Our analysis, based on responses from 104 European companies, demonstrates a positive link between PU, ease of use, and a company's intent to adopt the PFAS Guide. This underscores the importance of corporations perceiving the PFAS Guide as a valuable and user-friendly resource, given its substantial impact on PFAS phase-out. Descriptive statistics revealed an interesting finding: 51.9% of the participants fell into the “other” group, as outlined in the PFAS Guide. This raises questions regarding the grouping of companies into various sectors. Based on our results, we propose improvements to the PFAS Guide by broadening sector representation to encompass a more diverse range of industries with sector-specific guidance, ensuring content relevance, and accentuating user experience using interactive resources. Future research should focus on the actual adoption and use of the guide to gain deeper insights into adoption rates and long-term PFAS Guide utilization. Furthermore, additional investigations should incorporate subgroup analyses, data triangulation, and a longitudinal approach to enhance our understanding of the factors that support and hinder integrated chemical assessment and environmental management. These research efforts are pivotal in guiding chemical policy and management practices, contributing to a PFAS-free future. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2024;20:1–14.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC).

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