The European Union should classify perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA) and its salts as candidates for strict regulation, the Dutch government has proposed.
The chemicals are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a category of synthetic, industrial compounds that persist in the environment. Some PFAS are toxic, especially those like PFHpA that have carboxylic acid groups or other chemically active components.
PFHpA and its salts are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) says in a May 18 announcement about the Dutch plan. The Netherlands is expected to submit details of its proposal in August, ECHA indicates.
PFHpA is registered in the EU for production or import levels of between 1 and 10 metric tons. It is unclear how it and its salts are used.
According to the US-based Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, PFHpA is a breakdown product of stain- and grease-proof coatings on food packaging, upholstered furniture, and carpet.
The Dutch goal is to classify PFHpA and its salts as “substances of very high concern” under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals law. Chemicals put in this classification become candidates for tight regulation.