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Fluorotechnology/Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

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Tom Flanagin
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FluoroTechnology is essential to modern life and is an important enabling technology for society

Fluorinated chemicals, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a large and diverse family of chemistry that makes possible the products that power our lives — the cellphones, tablets and telecommunications we use every day to connect with our friends and family; the aircrafts that power the U.S. military; alternative energy sources; and medical devices that help keep us healthy. PFAS are vital to enabling our lives in the 21st century.

Wind Turbine Creating Renewable Energy at Dusk

However, all PFAS are not the same. Each individual chemistry has its own unique properties and uses. There are two groups at ACC, the Performance Fluoropolymer Partnership and the Alliance for Telomer Chemistry Stewardship, that work independently to address the responsible production, use, and management of their respective chemistries, as well as science- and risk-based approaches to regulation.

Uses & Benefits

  • Building & Construction
  • Infrastructure
  • Facades
  • Safety Equipment
  • Fuel System Seals & Hoses
  • Field Equipment Gaskets
  • Smudge-Resistant Touch Screens
  • Micro-electronics
  • Plasma Machinery
  • Cleaning Fluids
  • Lithium Batteries
  • Fuel Cells
  • Solar Panels
  • Engine Compartment Wirings & Gauges
  • Automobile Carpets & Seats
  • Pacemakers
  • MRI Imaging Devices
  • Medical Garments
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FAQ

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, often referred to as PFAS or Fluorotechnology, are a diverse group of chemistries characterized by the strong bond between fluorine and carbon. Because of this strong bond, PFAS provides products with strength, durability, stability and resilience. These properties are critical to the reliable and safe function of a broad range of products that are important for industry and consumers, such as the cellphones, tablets and telecommunications systems we use every day to connect with our friends and family; the aircraft that power the U.S. military; solar panels and turbines critical to alternative energy development; and medical devices and technology that help keep us healthy. PFAS are vital to enabling our lives in the 21st century. Click here to learn more about all of the products PFAS help make possible.

All PFAS are not the same. Individual chemistries have their own unique properties and uses, as well as environmental and health profiles.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “approximately 600 PFAS are manufactured (including imported) and/or used in the United States.” Among these 600 are substances in the solid (e.g., fluoropolymers), liquid (e.g., fluorotelomer alcohols) and gaseous (e.g., hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants) forms. The fundamental physical, chemical, and biological properties of solids, liquids and gases are clearly different from one another. The very distinct physical and chemical properties of the three types of commercial PFAS described demonstrate how varied they are and how a simple grouping approach to risk would be inadequate.

Furthermore, there is increased recognition by scientists and policymakers that you cannot group all PFAS together for the purposes of regulation. Read more here.

To date, we have been pleased to work with policymakers and other stakeholders on a host of initiatives to address key issues while continuing to allow for the important uses and benefits of PFAS technologies. While some have suggested that nothing is happening at the federal level, EPA and Congress have taken several significant steps toward advancing a comprehensive approach we support to addressing these chemistries. Learn more here.

No. According to EPA, “approximately 600 PFAS are manufactured (including imported) and/or used in the United States.”

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