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On 14 June 2017, the European Union’s restriction on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (CAS no. 335-67-1), its salts and PFOA-related substances, was published in the Official Journal as Regulation (EU) No 2017/10001, amended the Annex XVII to REACH Regulation as a newly added entry – entry 68.
PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related substances have some specific properties, such as high friction resistance, dielectricality, resistance to heat and chemical agents, and low surface energy. These substances are used in many applications, such as special finishing to textiles and paper to give water, grease, oil and/or dirt repellency, as surfactants in fire-fighting foams. In 2013, PFOA was identified as a Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) because of its persistence, bioaccumulative and toxic property (PBT), and was included in the Candidate List.
In 2014, Germany and Norway submitted a report, proposed to amend REACH Annex XVII to restrict the manufacturing, use and placing on the market of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related substances. After 1st and 2nd public consultation, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) submitted the final opinions to the European Commission (EC) in January 2016. Based on the opinions, the EC concluded that an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment arises from the manufacture, use or placing on the market of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related substances, and those risks need to be addressed in the EU. REACH Annex XVII should be amended accordingly.
Regarding the analytical method for PFOA and PFOA-related substances, currently, there is no standard method available for extraction and chemical analysis of those substances. CEN/TS 15968:2010 which is available for the determination of extractable perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and its derivatives (PFOS), most likely can be adjusted to also include PFOA and PFOA-related substances with the relevant detection limit. And the suitable analytical methods may be further developed during the deferral period of the restriction.
The new restriction will apply from 4 July 2020, and some specific items can enjoy longer transition periods.
Table A (below). Entry 68 - Restriction on PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related substances
|Scope of restriction||Substances, mixtures and articles|
Substances: Not used (Not detected)
Substances and mixtures