If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.


Persistent Pollutants

Netherlands seeks EU controls on perfluoroheptanoic acid

This PFAS chemical and its salts are toxic and bioaccumulate

by Cheryl Hogue
May 19, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 18


The European Union should classify perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA) and its salts as candidates for strict regulation, the Dutch government has proposed.

Chemical structure of perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA).

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.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.