chemical Class

Perfluorochemical (PFC)


Chemicals in the class:

2-(N-Ethyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetic acid, 2-(N-Methyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetic acid, 2-(N-ethyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetate (EPAH), 2-(N-methyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetate (MPAH), PFBA (Perfluorobutyric acid), PFBS (Perfluorobutane sulfonate), PFDA (Perfluorodecanoic acid), PFDoA (Perfluorododecanoic acid), PFHS, PFHpA (Perfluoroheptanoic acid), PFHxA (Perfluorohexanoic acid), PFHxS (Perfluorohexanesulfonate), PFNA (Perfluorononanoic acid), PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonate), PFOSA (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid), PFOSAA, PFPeA (Perfluoro-n-pentanoic acid), PFTA (Perfluorotetradecanoic acid), PFUnA (Perfluoroundecanoic acid), Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, Perfluorooctane sulfonamide, perfluorodecanoate (PFDE), perfluorododecanoate (PFDO), perfluoroheptanoate (PFHP), perfluorononanoate (PFNA), perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFSA), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluoroundecanoate (PFUA)

Found in these people:

Suzie Canales, Jean Salone, Jennifer Hill-Kelley, Dr. Beverly Wright, Vivian Chang, Adult B, Adult #108, Baby #1, Baby #2, Baby #3, Baby #4, Baby #5, Baby #6, Baby #7, Baby #8, Baby #9, Baby #10, Anonymous Adult 1, Kathy Fowler, U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter, Participant #2, Participant #8, Kelsey Wirth, Michael Goodstein, Margie Roswell, Nina Damato, Nora Pouillon, Stephanie Berger, Sara Corbett, Nicholas, Cord Blood Sample 11, Cord Blood Sample 12, Cord Blood Sample 13, Cord Blood Sample 14, Cord Blood Sample 15, Cord Blood Sample 16, Cord Blood Sample 17, Cord Blood Sample 18, Cord Blood Sample 19, Cord Blood Sample 20, Baby B, Participant #1, Participant #10, Fred Gellert, Adelaide Gomer, Ann Hunter-Welborn, Jesse Johnson, Winsome McIntosh, Judi Shils, Participant #18, Lynde Uihlein, Participant #2, Participant #20, Jessica Welborn, Alicia Wittink, Irene Crowe, Martha Davis, Emily Sayrs, Participant #6, Annette Gellert, Heather Gellert, Landon Gellert, Anonymous Adult, Anonymous Adult 2, Anonymous Adult 3, Anonymous Adult 5, Anonymous Adult 4, Anonymous Adult 6, Anonymous Adult 7, Anonymous Teen 1, Anonymous Adult 9, Anonymous Adult 12, Anonymous Adult 13, Anonymous Adult 11, Anonymous Adult 10, Anonymous Adult 14, Anonymous Adult 15, Anonymous Adult 16, Anonymous Adult 17, Anonymous Adult 18, Anonymous Adult 20, Anonymous Adult 21

Found in these locations:

Corpus Christi, TX; Green Bay, WI; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Rockville, MD; Upstate New York, NY; Silver Spring, MD; Washington, DC; Cambridge, MA; Bethesda, MD; Baltimore, MD; NY, USA; CA, USA; Belvedere, CA; Ithaca, NY; Encinitas, CA; Ross, CA; VA, USA; Milwaukee, WI; CO, USA; San Francisco, CA; Littleton, CO; MD, USA; Chicago, IL; Newton, MA; Fredericksburg, VA; Lamont, FL; Atlanta, GA; Mountain View, CA; Stanford, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Berkeley, CA; Alamo, CA; Fallbrook, CA


Summary

PFCs are industrial chemicals widely used as water, stain and grease repellants for food wrap, carpet, furniture, and clothing. The family includes such well known name brands as Scotchgard and Teflon.

PFCs are also released to the environment in air and water emissions at numerous manufacturing and processing facilities worldwide, including primary production sites such as DuPont's Washington Works facility, WV; 3M's Cottage Grove, MN site, and Daikin's Decatur, AL plant. PFCs are likely also released to the environment at countless secondary manufacturing facilities, including sites where consumer products are coated for water, stain, and grease repellency.

The dominant source of PFCs to the environment are likely fluorotelomer chemicals, the active ingredients in coatings of furniture, clothing, food packaging, and other products. Fluorotelomers break down in the environment and in the body to PFCs differing only in the carbon chain length and end group (Hagen, Belisle et al. 1981; Dinglasan, Ye et al. 2004).

Most PFCs are fairly mobile in water, but due to low volatility of the persistent carboxy acids and sulfonates many do not have the potential to migrate in air far from locations of its release as a manufacturing pollutant. In contrast, studies indicate that PFC telomers are relatively volatile and could migrate long distances through the atmosphere (Martin et al. 2004).

Fluorotelomers are a likely source of the persistent perfluorochemicals found in newborns in this study, and in wildlife and water in areas remote from manufacturing sites and human populations.

Available scientific findings to date show that PFCs widely contaminate human blood (Kannan, Choi et al. 2002; Olsen, Burris et al. 2002), that they persist in the body for decades (Burris, Lundberg et al. 2002), that they act through a broad range of toxic mechanisms of action to present potential harm to a wide range of organs (ovaries, liver, kidney, spleen, thymus, thyroid, pituitary, testis), and that they persist indefinitely in the environment with no known biological or environmental breakdown mechanism (3M 2000; 3M 2001; 3M 2001). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has described PFCs as combining "persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity properties to an extraordinary degree" (Auer 2000).


Perfluorochemical (PFC)

Family includes Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster. Linked to cancer and birth defects.

Perfluorochemical (PFC) has been found in 88 of the 88 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Top health concerns for Perfluorochemical (PFC) (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Cancerlimited
Birth defects and developmental delayslimited
Endocrine systemstrong

Other health concerns for Perfluorochemical (PFC) (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Biochemical effectsunknown
Kidney and renal systemunknown
Reproduction and fertilityunknown
Brain and nervous systemunknown
Immune system (including sensitization and allergies)unknown
Behavioral effectsunknown
Hematologic (blood) systemunknown

Toxicity Classifications (References)

classification governing entity/references
Behavioral effects - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092.
Biochemical effects - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed3M (1999). Report of data for exploratory 28-day oral toxicity study in rats: telomer alcohol, telomer acrylate, [(CBI)], PFHS, PFOS. NOTOX project number 242933. Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by 3M Environmental Laboratory Fluorine Analytical Chemistry Team (FACT). Study No. FACT-TOX-120.3; NOTOX#24933 U.S. EPA Administrative Records AR226-0951 (metabolites) and AR226-1030a.
Cancer - limited evidence of carcinogenicityOther peer reviewed studies
Developmental toxicant - limited evidenceYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092., EPA (2000). Email message from Charles Auer (US Environmental Protection Agency) to OECD. U.S. EPA Administrative Record AR226-0629.
Endocrine disruptorYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092.
Endocrine disruptor - suspected or limited evidenceYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092.
Hematologic system toxicity - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedEPA (2000). Email message from Charles Auer (US Environmental Protection Agency) to OECD. U.S. EPA Administrative Record AR226-0629.
Immune system toxicity - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092.
Nervous system toxicity - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092.
Possible human carcinogenEPA (2002). Revised draft hazard assessment of perfluorooctanoic acid and its salts, Environmental Protection Agency. U.S. EPA Administrative Record AR226-1136. November 4, 2002.
Renal system toxicity - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092.
Reproductive effects - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedYork, R. (2002). Oral (gavage) two-generation (one litter per generation) reproduction study of ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) in rats Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by Argus Research (Horsham, PA). Sponsor's Study No. T-6889.6., Reviewed in US EPA AR226-1092.