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.


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.

The hazard profile of these fluorotelomer based products generally includes an assessment of one of their primary break down products, perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA or C6 acid), which studies have shown does not cause cancer; does not disrupt endocrine (hormone) activity; has not been shown to cause reproductive or developmental harm; does not build up in the human body; and does not become concentrated in the bodies of living organisms.


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