Long-Chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs), their Salts, and their Precursors
and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) Its Salts, and Its Precursors

PFOA and Long-Chain PFCAs are industrial chemicals. In the case of Long-Chain PFCAs, they may also be formed unintentionally from human activities.

PFOA and Long-Chain PFCAs are fluorocarbon-based chemicals (consisting of fluorine bound to carbon atoms). The PFOAmolecule contains 8 carbon atoms and the Long-Chain PFCAs contain between 9 and 20 carbon atoms. Both substances may also be found in salt form (e.g. PFOA ammonium salt).

These substances may be formed from the degradation or transformation of their precursors, which include parent compounds and chemical products containing PFOA or PFCAs.

The Minister of the Environment has conducted a screening assessment of PFOA, its salts and its precursors, as well as of long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts and their precursors. The Minister of Health has also conducted a screening assessment of PFOA, its salts and its precursors. The final reports and conclusions of these assessments were published on August 25th, 2012.

These final screening assessment reports conclude that PFOA and long-chain PFCAs are entering or may be entering the environment in a quantity or a concentration or under conditions that have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity. In addition, they conclude that both PFOA and long-chain PFCAs are extremely persistent and meet the criteria for persistence, but do not meet the criteria for bioaccumulation as set out in the Persisence and Bioaccumulation Regulations. Nevertheless, the weight of evidence is sufficient to conclude that both PFOA and long-chain PFCAs and their salts accumulate and biomagnify in terrestrial and marine mammals.However, it is proposed that PFOA and its salts are not entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.

The Risk Management Approach for PFOA and long-chain PFCAs, published on August 25th, 2012, outlines the proposed risk management actions. Proposed in the Risk Management Approach, are restrictions on the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, import and export of PFOA and long-chain PFCAs, and products containing them.

The Consultation Document on the proposed risk management measure for PFOA and long-chain PFCAs was published on January 2, 2014 for a 30-day public comment period. Proposed in the Consultation Document are restrictions on the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and import of PFOA and long-chain PFCAs, and certain products containing them.

The Government’s Response to Stakeholders’ Comments regarding the Risk Management Approach for PFOA and long-chain PFCAs and the Consultation Document on the Proposed Risk Management Measure for PFOA and long-chain PFCAs were published on June 21, 2014. Comments received were considered during the development of the proposed risk management action.

The proposed Regulations Amending the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 include controls on PFOA and long-chain PFCAs and were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on April 4, 2015. The proposed Amendments would prohibit PFOA and long-chain PFCAs and products containing them, unless present in manufactured items. Time-limited exemptions and ongoing permitted uses are proposed for certain uses where the development of alternatives is underway or where there are currently no known alternatives. The proposed Amendments are subject to a 75-day public comment period from April 4, 2015 to June 18, 2015. Comments received during this period will be considered in the final development of these Regulations.

Four New Fluorotelomer-based Substances

For more information on Long-Chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs), please visit the following link on the Chemical Substances website.

For more information on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOAs), please visit the Chemical Substances website.

There is more than one CAS number that applies to this group of substances.


Risk Assessment


Source(s)

This substance is entering the environment predominantly from the following source(s):


Risk Management Strategy

Click on the following link to view strategies and actions recommended to manage risks associated with the substance:


Risk Management Tool(s)

Tool(s) developed to manage risks associated with the substance:


Consultation

Consultation (past and present) on the substance:


Contact


Chemicals Management Division
Environment Canada
351, St-Joseph Boulevard
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3

E-mail: ec.interdiction-prohibition.ec@ec.gc.ca