Overview

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are chemicals that have partially or completely fluorinated carbon chains of varied lengths. These substances are used in almost all industry branches and many consumer products (Glüge et al. 2020). The most-studied PFAS are perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).

PFOS, its salts and PFOSF:

In 2009, the Conference of the Parties listed PFOS, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF) in Annex B to the Stockholm Convention (decision SC-4/17). To facilitate the implementation of the Stockholm Convention with regard to newly listed POPs, the Conference of the Parties adopted a work programme, including on PFOS, its salts and PFOSF (decisions SC-4/19, SC-5/3 and SC-6/7). In 2019, following the evaluation of the continued need for PFOS, its salts and PFOSF, the Conference of the Parties amended Annex B to remove several of the specific exemptions and acceptable purposes for PFOS, its salts and PFOSF (decision SC-9/4).

PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds:

In 2019, the Conference of the Parties listed PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention (decision SC-9/12). The Secretariat, in consultation with the POPs Review Committee, developed an indicative list of substances covered by listing of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds. The list is to be updated periodically.

PFHxS, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds:

In 2019, the POPs Review Committee recommended to the COP that it consider listing PFHxS, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds in Annex A to the Stockholm Convention.

Long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (LC-PFCAs), their salts and related compounds:

The POPs Review Committee is currently reviewing LC-PFCAs, their salts and related compounds, proposed for listing in Annexes A, B and/or C to the Stockholm Convention.

  • UNEP/POPS/POPRC.17/7: Proposal to list long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids, their salts and related compounds in Annexes A, B and/or C to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants

The registers for specific exemptions and acceptable purpose are maintained by the Secretariat on the Convention website.

PFAS under the
Stockholm Convention
  PFOS   PFOA
         
PFHxS   LC-PFCAs