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Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a broad class of chemical substances. The family of chemicals known as PFAS is very large, and there are more than 4,700 of these fluorine-based compounds. Because of its non-stick, water repellence, anti-grease, low friction, stable and durable properties it will not easily degrade in the natural environment. PFAS is extremely persistent and may last for thousands of years in nature, and is also very mobile and can be transported far from its original source. As such, it is termed "forever chemicals".
Within the PFAS family, the most concerned are perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The chemical itself is persistent in the environment, accumulates in organisms, toxic and difficult to degrade. The main application range is very wide, and it is commonly used in various waterproof coatings, rain gear, cookware, containers, food packaging and other everyday products or electronic and electrical appliances. Not only will it cause harm to the body, it is also related to a number of human health risks, including cancer, immune system diseases, reproductive abnormalities and fetal development problems. Long-term exposure will accumulate in the body and can be passed on to the fetus through the mother's umbilical cord and through breastfeeding, affecting the developing fetus.
The Stockholm Convention, which regulates PFAS in finished products in various countries, lists some PFAS-related chemical substances as persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and the European Union also restricts the use of some PFAS-related compounds and regulates them. In 2021, Maine in the United States will become the first jurisdiction in the world to ban the sale of products containing PFAS.
In addition to EU POPs, which focus on controlling PFOA & PFOS, there are similar regulations around the world, such as EU REACH, UK REACH, US packaging materials TPCH, TSCA, CP65, Canada CEPA (SOR 2016-252), Japan's Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL), China's New Pollutant Control Action Plan, etc. If a product is exported to the above-mentioned places, it must comply with the relevant laws and regulations. If it is found that it does not meet the standards, it will be removed from the shelves and banned from circulation in the market (mainly in accordance with the stipulations of the respective laws).
The frequent misuse of the term “PFAS Regulations” is a misnomer, because there is no supposed “PFAS Regulations” as most of the thousands of substances contained in PFAS do not have clear regulatory requirements. Compliance is conditional upon the relevant laws and regulations governing “PFAS in finished products” for the respective countries. (Table 1)
The raw material procurement process of GMORS is highly stringent, and involves a thorough review of every supplier to exclude the presence of prohibited substances such as PFCAs, PFHxS, PFOA and PFOS. Our review for compliance includes compounds fluororubber (FKM), perfluororubber (FFKM), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, also known as Teflon) and finished products as well as Teflon coating (PTFE Coating). GMORS products conform strictly to the national regulations of respective countries where such substances are prohibited. (Table 2)
After the EU REACH restriction on PFHxS takes effect, raw material suppliers Solvay and Chemours peroxide-cured compounds will become affected. GMORS is updating our raw material inventory to fully comply with the new restrictions, and the process is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
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EU POPs (Prohibited):
TSCA (Notification Required)
CP65 (Warning Label Required)
Japan's Chemical Substances Control Law (CSCL) (Certain products are prohibited from being imported if they contain specified substances)
Canada SOR 2016-252 (Prohibited)
China's New Pollutant Control Action Plan (2023)( Prohibited use of substances within environment)
(Table 1) Relevant laws and regulations governing "PFAS in finished products" in various countries.
|PFAS family substances
|PFCAs, PFHxS, PFOA and PFOS .. etc., banned PFAS substances in (Table 1)
|Thousands of other PFAS family substances
|GMORS raw materials include fluororubber (FKM), perfluororubber (FFKM), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, also known as Teflon), finished products and Teflon coating (PTFE Coating).
None of the above banned substances
※After the EU REACH restriction on PFHxS takes effect, raw material suppliers Solvay and Chemours peroxide-cured compounds will become affected. GMORS is updating our raw material inventory to fully comply with the new restrictions, and the process is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
No explicit regulatory requirements
※In the near future (2023), many countries are discussing the banning of all PFAS, but the legislative process is lengthy and specific substances are yet to be clearly identified. Further evaluation is only possible after the legislation is implemented.
(Table 2) GMORS raw materials and PFAS family substances.
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