Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

Perfluorocarbons are a group of human-made chemicals composed of carbon and fluorine only. Perfluorocarbons are powerful greenhouse gases that were introduced as alternatives to ozone depleting substances. PFCs replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in manufacturing semiconductors. They are also used as solvents in the electronics industry, and as refrigerants of some specialized refrigeration systems. In addition to being released during consumption, they are emitted as a by-product during aluminum production. 

PFCs were added to Schedule 1 of CEPA in November 2005. Under subsection 90(1) of CEPA, a substance can be added to Schedule 1 of CEPA by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the ministers of the environment and health if it is determined that a substance is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that:

(a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;

(b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or

(c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.

Based on an analysis of the existing science, most notably documented in the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in subsequent reports including the Fifth Assessment Report (2014), there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the principal greenhouse gases namely carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends. The addition of PFCss to schedule 1 of CEPA gives the Government the power to put in place a variety of preventative or control actions to control PFCss under that same Act. The reporting on releases of PFCs to the atmosphere is regulated under section 46 of CEPA and is required from large industrial and commercial facilities that meet a certain threshold for their combined emissions in CO2 equivalent of the six principal greenhouse gases.

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


Risk Assessment


Risk Management Tool(s)

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


Other Information


Contact

Substances Management Information Line
Chemicals Management Plan
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (in Canada) or 819-938-3232
Fax: 819-938-3231
E-mail: substances@ec.gc.ca

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