Scheringer, Martin3; Trier, Xenia2; Cousins, Ian T.4; de Voogt, Pim5; Fletcher, Tony8; Wang, Zhanyun3; Webster, Thomas F.9
1 National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 Division of Food Chemistry, National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology4 Stockholm University5 University of Amsterdam6 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine7 Boston University8 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine9 Boston University
In this discussion paper, the transition from long-chain poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) to fluorinated alternatives is addressed. Long-chain PFASs include perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) with 7 or more perfluorinated carbons, perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs) with 6 or more perfluorinated carbons, and their precursors. Because long-chain PFASs have been found to be persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic, they are being replaced by a wide range of fluorinated alternatives. We summarize key concerns about the potential impacts of fluorinated alternatives on human health and the environment in order to provide concise information for different stakeholders and the public. These concerns include, amongst others, the likelihood of fluorinated alternatives or their transformation products becoming ubiquitously present in the global environment; the need for more information on uses, properties and effects of fluorinated alternatives; the formation of persistent terminal transformation products including PFCAs and PFSAs; increasing environmental and human exposure and potential of adverse effects as a consequence of the high ultimate persistence and increasing usage of fluorinated alternatives; the high societal costs that would be caused if the uses, environmental fate, and adverse effects of fluorinated alternatives had to be investigated by publicly funded research; and the lack of consideration of non-persistent alternatives to long-chain PFASs.