Fluoride Action Network

Potential PFOA Precursors

Source: Report # M-231/2014 | September 19th, 2014 | By Claus Jorgen Nielsen, University of Oslo
Location: European Union
Industry type: Perfluorinated chemicals

Literature study and theoretical assessment of abiotic degradation pathways leading to PFOA .


The Norwegian Environment Agency , in cooperation with German Environment Authorities, is preparing a report proposing regulations on PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), its salts and precursors. PFOA (or its ammonium salt), is mainly used as a processing aid in the production of fluoropolymers; i.e. polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF). Other PFOA sources are fluorotelomers, which are not produced using PFOA, but which may contain low levels of PFOA. There are a number of products containing PFOA such as carpet care solutions, sealants, floor waxes, paints, impregnating agents, fire fighting foam, ski wax and surface coatings of carpets, textiles, paper and leather. PFOA is found in the environment and in people all over the world. PFOA is degraded very slowly in nature and is long-range transported to the Arctic. PFOA is listed as a priority pollutant covered by the national goal that emissions should be eliminated by 2020.

The overall objective of the present project is to summarize relevant information available in the open literature to provide an overall assessment of relevant precursors including possible grouping, and to evaluate possible routes to provide documentation, where missing, on the potential of abiotic degradation resulting in PFOA.

The present report summarises a classification of potential PFOA precursors and outlines the transformation routes leading to PFOA .

The project has achieved its targets.