Problem

Fluorinated chemicals as pollutants

Other Names:
Perfluorooctane sulfonate as an environmental contaminant
Perfluorooctanoic acid contamination of water
Nature:

The chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are widely found in fire-fighting foam, non-stick pans, popcorn bags, and stain-free carpets.  The chemicals build up their toxicity over time. They leak from old, unlined landfills, and every time there is a firefighting training at an airport or a military base.  They are linked to low birth weight, thyroid disorders and cancer. 

Background:

152 countries have signed on to the 2001 Stockholm Convention meant to restrict or eliminate fluorinated chemicals related to PFOA and PFOS from the environment. Overall, concentrations of the chemicals have dropped in people’s bloodstreams worldwide, outside of contaminated regions.

Incidence:

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) called for putting limits on drinking water levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) because they are linked to low birth weight, thyroid disorders and cancer. 

Problem Type:
G: Very specific problems
Date of last update
21.08.2016 – 16:38 CEST