Canadian Consulting Engineer

U.S. calls halt to use of PFOAs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has suddenly called for a ban on the production of perfluororoctanoic acid...

March 3, 2006   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has suddenly called for a ban on the production of perfluororoctanoic acid, or PFOA. The substance is used in making non-stick and non-stain coatings like Teflon and is a suspected carcinogen. Its cousin Perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, was phased out in the late 1990s. Now PFOA has been detected in people and animals around the world, and in alarming levels in Arctic animals.
On January 25, the EPA suddenly asked eight manufacturers to reduce PFOA emissions by 95 per cent by 2010 and to stop emitting it altogether by 2015. The call is seen as a surprising and sudden victory for environmentalists who have long been petitioning the EPA to act. Some of the most important research and data that the environmentalists used to argue their case was conducted by Professor Scott Mabury, chair of chemistry at the University of Toronto.

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