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PFAS

IPEN Press Release

PFHXs, Used as a Substitute for Banned PFOS and PFOA, Recommended for Global Ban

(Rome, Italy) An U.N. expert committee decided unanimously to recommend a complete global elimination for another toxic fluorinated “forever chemical.” Fluorinated chemicals are widespread pollutants threatening drinking water sources, public health and the occupational health of firefighters. They do not break down in the environment and accumulate in the bodies of wildlife and people. They are used in a wide variety of products, including firefighting foam, waterproofing of textiles, and food packaging, as well as other industrial and consumer applications. 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have received significant public and media attention in the US, EU, and Australia, in part due to their toxicity, extreme persistence, and documented water pollution. However, information about PFAS in other parts of the world is largely lacking and the information which is available is difficult to access.

Over the past few months, IPEN Participating Organizations in twelve Middle Eastern and Asian countries conducted surveys to explore possible PFAS uses and pollution sources, scientific studies and government actions, including under the Stockholm Convention. Countries covered include: Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.

PFAS occur in more products than just firefighting foams.

Fluorinated firefighting foams were transitioned from long chain to short chain PFAS due to the US EPA Stewardship Program. "In 2006, EPA invited eight major leading companies in the PFAS industry to join in a global stewardship program."1 This change was initiated due to increasing concerns about PFAS contamination and health issues connected to PFAS.

Urgent action needed on highly persistent PFAS chemicals

IPEN presents the third in a series of papers prepared by an international panel of experts on PFAS chemicals. This paper, Perfluorohexane Sulfonate (PFHxS)— Socio-Economic Impact, Exposure, and the Precautionary Principle, offers unique insights about threats to drinking water sources, public health and the occupational health of firefighters due to the particular physico-chemical properties of PFHxS, including its greater mobility, hydrogeological fractionation, and long elimination half-life in people.

Anchorage–The Alaska PFAS Action Coalition (APAC), Gustavus PFAS Action Coalition, and Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) will hold a news conference Wednesday, September 25th at the Lakefront Anchorage Hotel 4800 at Spenard Rd. at 12:00pm.

IPEN will host a side event at the Stockholm Convention's POPRC-15 meeting upcoming in Rome, Italy: "Socioeconomic Costs of PFAS Contamination- A Global Issue of Our Time."

IPEN has convened an international panel of independent experts from the fields of fire safety, chemistry, policy, and remediation to present at this side event. The panel also offers the third in a series of papers about PFAS chemicals: sources of contamination, implications for public and occupational health, safe alternatives, and remediation.

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