FluoroCouncil Supports Science-Based Policy for Long-Chain Perfluorinated Substances
There is no compelling rationale or scientific evidence to support sweeping recommendations to limit the production and use of all FluoroTechnology
WASHINGTON (May 1, 2015) – The FluoroCouncil , a global organization representing the world’s leading FluoroTechnology companies, issued the following regarding the Madrid Statement and the FluoroCouncil counterpoint statement published in the May edition of Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) . The Madrid Statement calls for limiting the production and use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and for the development of non-fluorinated alternatives.
The FluoroCouncil welcomes the opportunity to contribute to an open, science-based conversation and supports policy measures on PFASs that are strongly supported by all relevant data.
The Madrid Statement, as published in EHP, unjustifiably targets a large class of fluorine-containing materials, despite the fact that all PFAS chemistry is not the same. The FluoroCouncil could support many of the policy recommendations outlined in the Madrid Statement, if they were limited to long-chain PFASs. The Madrid Statement policy recommendations are, however, applied to all PFAS substances, even though there is substantial scientific data supporting the conclusion that short-chain PFASs pose no significant risk and deliver important societal benefits.
For almost a decade, the members of the FluoroCouncil have been engaged, on a voluntary basis, in the replacement of long-chain substances with alternatives such as short-chain PFAS that provide the same valuable properties, but with improved human health and environmental profiles. This commitment to globally phase-out long-chain products by the end of 2015, embodied in the 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program , is a global partnership between industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This Program has been extremely successful in reducing human and environmental exposure to long-chain substances through implementation of measures to eliminate these chemicals and their precursors in facility emissions and products.
FluoroCouncil member companies have undertaken an ambitious program to develop robust scientific data on these alternative products, the raw materials used to produce them, and their degradation products. These short-chain alternatives have undergone rigorous review in the registration processes by multiple government agencies and are approved for use. The published data and data submitted to regulatory authorities support the conclusion that short-chain PFASs are not expected to be harmful to human health or the environment. Any claim that data are not available on the hazards and risks of these substances is simply incorrect.
With significantly improved health and environmental profiles, the alternatives continue to provide the unique benefits of PFAS chemistry. The fluorine-carbon bond gives FluoroTechnology its distinct properties of strength, durability, heat resistance and stability. These properties are critical to the reliable and safe function of many products that industry and consumers rely on every day : automobiles, airplanes, cell phones, semiconductors, medical garments, pharmaceutical manufacturing, fire-fighting foam and stain-proof garments and apparel-amongst others.
The FluoroCouncil and its member companies believe that any policy discussion regarding PFASs should be based on well-established risk assessment principles and a consideration of the societal benefits they provide.