Fluorotelomer-based products are versatile chemistries with wetting and spreading features, as well as unique properties that repel water, oil and stains. These unique characteristics make fluorotelomers a critical component of first responder gear, medical garments, paints and coatings, upholstery, and class B firefighting foam, among other uses that families and businesses across the world rely on.

Fluorotelomer_facts

The most common types of fluorotelomer based products are side chain fluorinated polymers and fluorosurfactants.

Side chain fluorinated polymers, also known as fluorinated polymers, are polymeric fluorotelomer-based products that consist of non-fluorinated carbon backbones with polyfluoroalkyl side chains. They are used to treat textiles, carpets, nonwovens and paper to provide water, soil, oil and stain resistance, among other applications.

Fluorosurfactants are non-polymeric fluorotelomer-based derivatives that are used in aqueous film forming foams (AFFF or fluorinated firefighting foams) and as coatings additives.

Our member companies that make and use fluorotelomer based products are committed to protecting public health and our environment, employing practices and technologies throughout the manufacturing process to minimize emissions of these chemistries.

Today’s fluorotelomer based products have undergone rigorous testing for potential effects on both human health and the environment, including regulatory reviews by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In addition, regulatory bodies in Europe, Canada and Asia have determined fluorotelomer based products meet relevant standards for the protection of human health and the environment.

Today’s fluorotelomer based products are not PFOS or PFOA, nor can they break-down or degrade into PFOS or PFOA. In fact, our members voluntarily stopped manufacturing and using long-chain products in the U.S. and globally through the PFOA Stewardship Program dating back to 2006. This program included an investment of over $700 million in research and development and a commitment to cease the manufacture and use of PFOA and PFOA-related chemicals, as well as an agreement for all new PFAS chemistry to undergo enhanced regulatory review before being permitted on the market.

C6 fluorotelomer-based surfactants have been thoroughly reviewed by regulators prior to introduction into commerce, are subject to ongoing review, and are supported by a robust body of rigorous scientific health and safety data.

This assessment has also included review of potential breakdown (degradation) products. As reflected in the published scientific literature, studies have found that one of the primary potential breakdown products, perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA or C6 acid), does not cause cancer (NTP 2018; Klaunig et al. 2015; Loveless et al. 2009); does not disrupt endocrine (hormone) activity (Borghoff et al. 2018); does not cause reproductive or developmental harm (Loveless et al. 2009; Iwai et al. 2019, Iwai and Hoberman 2014); does not build up in the human body and does not become concentrated in the bodies of living organisms (Chengelis et al. 2009b; Iwai and Hoberman 2014; Russell et al. 2013, 2015; Nilsson et al. 2010, 2013; Fujii et al. 2015; Guruge et al. 2016; Gannon et al. 2011, 2016).

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