What Do We Need to Know About PFAS



Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) are part of a family of manufactured compounds called per- and poly-fluoro-alkyl substances (PFAS).

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS)

PFAS have a wide variety of applications in the manufacture of consumer products, including carpets, textiles, leather, food contact materials and articles such as non-stick cookware and paper coatings, with anti-water (water-proof / water-resistant), grease, oil and/or stain properties.

The US EPA notes on PFAS

Many per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), also referred to as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), are found world-wide in the environment, wildlife, and humans.

EPA is particularly concerned about so-called long-chain PFAS chemicals. These are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans, and are toxic to laboratory animals and wildlife, producing reproductive, developmental, and systemic effects in laboratory tests.

These long-chain PFASs comprise two sub-categories:
Long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) with eight or more carbons, including PFOA, and perfluoroalkane sulfonates (PFSAs) with six or more carbons,including perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)

US FDA Statement on PFAS chemicals

Since the 1960s, the FDA has authorized several broad classes of PFAS for use in food contact substances due to their non-stick and grease, oil, and water-resistant properties. PFAS that are authorized for use in contact with food PFAS may be used as grease-proofing agents in fast-food wrappers, take-out paperboard containers, to prevent oil and grease from foods from leaking through the packaging.

The FDA reviews new scientific information on the authorized uses of food contact substances to ensure that these uses continue to be safe. When the FDA identifies potential safety concerns, the agency ensures that these concerns are addressed or that these substances are no longer used in food contact applications.

On January 29, 2020, the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Environment heard a proposal for a PFAS-related bill (HR2827) to direct the FDA to ban the use of PFAS in all food contact items beginning in 2022.

Why we need to concern PFAS

PFAS called "permanent chemicals", meaning that once they are released into the environment, they do not disappear easily and have environmental persistence, long-distance migration and bioaccumulation.

The US EPA stated in 2016 that exposure to certain levels of PFOS and PFOA can cause human health risks, including effects on fetal and infant development, cancer, liver damage, immune disorders, thyroid disorders, and cardiovascular disease.


Tighter controls of PFAS substances in USA

In 2006, EPA invited eight major leading companies (Arkema\Asahi\BASF Corporation\Clariant\Daikin\3M/Dyneon\DuPont\Solvay Solexis) in the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) industry to join in a global stewardship program with two goals: To commit to achieve, no later than 2010, a 95 percent reduction, measured from a year 2000 baseline, in both facility emissions to all media of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), precursor chemicals that can break down to PFOA, and related higher homologue chemicals, and product content levels of these chemicals. To commit to working toward the elimination of these chemicals from emissions and products by 2015.

* All companies have met the PFOA Stewardship Program goals.

Tighter controls of PFAS substances– Califronia Prop 65

On November 10, 2017, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazardous Assessment (OEHHA) added perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in the California's Proposition 65 chemicals list,it's known to cause reproductive harm.

After 10 November 8, a clear and reasonable warning must be given to any person intentionally or intentionally exposed to PFOA and PFOS (chapter 6.6, section 25249.6 [5]).

After 10 July 2019, PFOA and PFOS are prohibited from being discharged into any drinking water source (Chapter 6.6, Section 25249.5 [4]).

California Proposition 65 is the Drinking Water Safety and Toxic Substances Enforcement Act of 1986, Here are the instructions on the website, * https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/about-proposition-65

Tighter controls of PFAS substances in USA – ESHB 2658

On March 21, 2018, Washington Governor Inslee signed bill HB2658 limiting the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) chemicals in food packaging.

The bill would ban the sale, offering to sell or distribute food packages that intentionally contain PFAS chemicals in the state of Washington, starting January 1, 2022.

Controls of PFAS substances in Europe

On 27 December 2006, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers jointly issued the Directive on Restrictions on the Marketing and Use of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (2006/122/EC). The Directive requires that substances with a concentration or mass equal to or greater than 0.005% of PFOS as a constituent or element, and finished, semi-finished products and parts containing 0.1% of PFOS with a concentration or mass equal to or greater than 0.005% of PFOS shall not be marketed.

On 17 March 2010, the European Commission published Resolution 2010/161/EU, which recommended that EU Member States should monitor the presence of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) in food during 2010 and 2011.

On 14 June 2017, the Official Journal of the European Union published Regulation (EU) 2017/1000, adding perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related substances to Annex 17 (List of Restricted Substances) of the REACH Regulation. According to the regulations, articles or mixtures containing more than 25ppb of PFOA and its salts and more than 1,000 PPB of PFOA-related substances shall not be manufactured or placed on the market starting from 4 July 2020.

On 10 July 2017, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that perfluorohexyl sulfonic acid and its salts (PFHXs) had been officially added to the Candidate List of Substances of High Concern (SVHC).

Controls of PFAS substances in Denmark

In Denmark,from July 1, 2020, Paper and board food contact materials in which per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances(PFAS) have used, is prohibited to place on the market.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has introduced an indicator value that can help the industry assess whether organic fluorinated substances have been added to paper and board. The indicator value is 20 microgram organic fluorine per gram of paper. This corresponds to 10 microgram organic fluorine per square decimeter of paper, when the paper has a weight of 0.5 gram per square decimeter. Content below the indicator value is considered as unintentional background pollution. So, companies can use the value to ensure that organic fluorinated substances have not been added to the paper.

Post time: Oct-18-2021