ECHA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFAS, fire-fighting foams
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On 19 June 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launched the 1st public consultation on the proposal to restrict perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related substances.
PFHxS belongs to the group of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). It is the shortest of the long-chain perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids. It is similar to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). As a member of the PFAS family of substances, PFHxS is very resistant to chemical, thermal and biological degradation. PFHxS and its salts was identified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) and included in SVHC Candidate List in July 2017.
PFHxS has been used in textiles because of its water and oil repellence properties and used in fire-fighting foams. Currently, it may still be present as an impurity of PFOS. This proposed restriction aims to avoid the possibility that PFHxS is used as a regrettable substitute when REACH Annex XVII entry 68 (Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) becomes effective in 2020 and to reduce the environmental emissions of the substances present in articles and mixtures imported to the European Union (EU).
All interested parties can comment on the proposal using the ECHA website until the end of the consultation period by 19 December 2019. The final opinion of ECHA is expected to be available by June 2020 and will be submitted to the European Commission (EC), which will decide whether to include this proposed restriction in REACH Annex XVII.
Table A. Proposed restriction on PFHxS, its salts and PFHxS-related substances
Proposed scope of the restriction
Substances, mixtures and articles
- Substances: Not used (Not detected)
- Substances or mixtures containing PFHxS as an impurity in PFOS in applications of PFOS which are derogated from the prohibitions in POPs Regulation (EC) No 850/2004;
Proposed application date
18 months after the date of entry into force
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