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Per- and polyfluorinated substances in the Nordic Countries

Use, occurence and toxicology

image of Per- and polyfluorinated substances in the Nordic Countries

This Tema Nord report presents a study based on open information and custom market research to review the most common perfluorinated substances (PFC) with less focus on PFOS and PFOA. The study includes three major parts:1) Identification of relevant per-and polyfluorinated substances and their use in various industrial sectors in the Nordic market by interviews with major players and database information2) Emissions to and occurence in the Nordic environment of the substances described in 1)3) A summary of knowledge of the toxic effects on humans and the environment of substances prioritized in 2)There is a lack of physical chemical data, analystical reference substances, human and environmental occurrence and toxicology data, as well as market information regarding PFCs other than PFOA and PFOS and the current legislation cannot enforce disclosure of specific PFC substance information.

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Human health effects and related animal toxicity of perand polyfluorinated substances

Most data found on human and animal toxicology and effects of PFCs are on PFOS and PFOA, probably because existing laboratory procedures in the past did not allow analyses of other PFCs that in general exist in lower concentrations and below detection limits; but also because PFOS and PFOA are the most abundant PFCs in the human matrix. Main epidemiological and medical surveillance studies have been conducted primarily in the United States on workers occupationally exposed to PFOS-based fluorochemicals (e.g. 3M) or populations exposed to PFOA-contaminated drinking water. These studies specifically examined PFOS or PFOA exposures and possible adverse outcomes such as mortality and cancer incidence studies. Further studies have been reported on potential endocrine effects, associations between primarily PFOS and/or PFOA serum concentrations and hematology, hormonal and clinical chemistry parameters. The results of the human studies are summarized in Table 13 and 14.

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