In the coming weeks, RIVM will derive a temporary background value for PFAS in Dutch soil. This will be done based on measurement data from the provinces in the Netherlands. The background value indicates what concentrations of PFAS can be expected in relatively clean areas in the Netherlands. Based on this temporary background value, the government may decide to amend the standard for PFAS for the agriculture/nature function. 

In July of this year, RIVM has calculated the risk limits for PFAS in soil and dredging spoil. At concentrations below these risk limits, the risks to people and the environment are acceptable. As a precaution and based on the law, the government has set the standard for PFAS in soil and dredging material at 0.1 micrograms of PFAS per kilo. This low standard is now causing problems because the soil and dredging material containing PFAS are difficult to move above this standard.

Provincial data

RIVM receives data from various provinces in the Netherlands. They keep track of how much PFAS has been measured in the soil in their region. Based on this data, RIVM can calculate what a plausible background value is: in other words, how much PFAS there is on average in the Dutch soil. 


RIVM has informed the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management that the accelerated derivation of a temporary background value also involves uncertainties. The amount of data available for deriving a temporary background value is limited. There is no data available for the entire country either. This will be taken into account in the derivation of a temporary background value. In addition, an important principle is that standards for soil must exclude health risks.