Long-Chain Perfluorinated Chemicals (LCPFCs); Regulation(s) Under TSCA
a.k.a. Long-Chain Perfluorinated Chemicals (LCPFCs) - TSCA Section 6(a)
Docket No.: Not yet available
Current Phase: Withdrawn
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Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provides authority for the EPA to ban or restrict the manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, and use of these chemicals, as well as any manner or method of disposal of these chemicals. The EPA is considering initiating TSCA section 6 rulemaking for managing long-chain perfluorinated chemicals (LCPFCs).
LCPFCs includes two sub-categories: perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFAS) and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFAC). The PFAS sub-category includes perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), other higher homologues, and their salts and precursors. The PFAC sub-category includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, sometimes called C8), other higher homologues, and their salts and precursors. Some of those potential PFAC precursors include chemicals known commercially as fluorotelomers. PFOA is a synthetic (man-made) chemical that does not occur naturally in the environment. Companies use PFOA to make fluoropolymers, substances with special properties that have thousands of important manufacturing and industrial applications. Fluoropolymers impart valuable properties, including fire resistance and oil, stain, grease, and water repellency. They are used to provide non-stick surfaces on cookware and waterproof, breathable membranes for clothing, and are used in many industry segments, including the aerospace, automotive, building/construction, chemical processing, electronics, semiconductors, and textile industries. PFOA can also be produced by the breakdown of some fluorinated telomers, substances that are used in surface treatment products to impart soil, stain, grease, and water resistance. Some telomers are also used as high performance surfactants in products that must flow evenly, such as paints, coatings, and cleaning products, fire-fighting foams for use on liquid fuel fires, or the engineering coatings used in semiconductor manufacture. LCPFCs are found world-wide in the environment, wildlife, and humans. They are bioaccumulative in wildlife and humans, and are persistent in the environment. To date, significant adverse effects have not been found in the general human population; however, significant adverse effects have been identified in laboratory animals and wildlife. Given the long half-life of these chemicals in humans (years), it can reasonably be anticipated that continued exposure could increase body burdens to levels that would result in adverse outcomes.