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Env. Sci. & Tech: Perfluropolymer Degrades in Decades, Study Estimates
August 5, 2009, 11:06 am
Filed under: News

Rebecca Renner
Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/es9021238
Publication Date (Web): July 21, 2009
Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society
The breakdown of fluorotelomer polymers, the main fluorinated ingredient in stain repellants and paper coatings, is a significant source of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and other fluorinated compounds in the environment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientists conclude in a study recently published in ES&T (2009, DOI 10.1021/es9002668). The finding could impact the future of these and myriad other products that rely on fluorotelomer polymers, because the agency is moving to tighten its rules on the basis of this study and other research.
PFOA occurs at low levels in the environment and in human blood. It remains in people’s bodies for years and causes developmental problems and other adverse effects in laboratory animals. Last year, high levels of perfluorinated chemicals found in Decatur, Ala., prompted EPA to issue a short-term drinking-water advisory for PFOA, and New Jersey has issued guidance for chronic drinking-water exposure of 0.04 parts per billion.

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