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Firms on Track for 2010 PFOA Phaseout

2:56 PM MDT | October 17, 2013 | Michelle Bryner

EPA says that firms participating in a voluntary initiative launched in 2006 for the phaseout of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are on track to meet a 95% reduction goal in PFOA emissions and product content by 2010. The companies agreed to an EPA request that they reduce facility emissions and product content of PFOA and related chemicals globally by 95%, from 2000 levels, no later than 2010, and to work toward eliminating emissions and product content of these chemicals by 2015.

EPA says it initiated the program because of “current knowledge that PFOA is persistent in the environment, that it has been detected in human blood, and that animal studies indicate effects of concern.”

The participating companies are: 3M; Arkema; Asahi Glass Chemicals; Ciba Specialty Chemicals; Clariant; Daikin; DuPont; and Solvay. The companies filed their 2000 baseline reports in October 2006, followed by their first report of progress toward meeting the goals in October 2007. EPA says that 3M, Ciba, and DuPont each reported greater than 98% reductions in PFOA emissions from facilities in the U.S.

Companies also reported progress toward developing PFOA alternatives, EPA says. So far, companies have submitted more than 50 chemical alternatives to EPA for review. Asahi has introduced a new line of telomer chemicals for textile and paper that are PFOA free. DuPont announced its intention to eliminate the need to make, buy, or use PFOA by 2015, reflecting progress made in finding a suitable alternative to PFOA. 3M says it intends to introduce a PFOA substitute this year. EPA did not release details about the uses or chemical makeup of the PFOA alternatives, which the agency and other authorities must approve before the alternatives may enter the market.

PFOA is used in its salt form as a processing agent to manufacture DuPont’s polytetrafluoroethylene Teflon and other fluoropolymers used by the aerospace, automotive, chemical processing, electrical, and electronics industries. EPA’s voluntary reduction program also involves PFOA-related chemicals, including those with a similar structure to PFOA but containing nine or more carbon atoms, as well as precursor chemicals that can break down into PFOA, including telomer alcohols.













 
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