C9-C14 PFCAs are bioaccumulative and belong to the most persistent chemicals known. They were found as unavoidable by-products during the production of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with a carbon chain of less than nine carbon atoms and are potentially used as substitutes for PFOA. A variety of commercial applications use PFAS, for example, water, oil and grease repellent treatments for carpets, furniture and clothing. They can be found in Teflon products, semiconductors and firefighting foams. PFCAs C9-C14 (PFNA, PFDA, PFUnDA, PFDoDA, PFTrDA, PFTDA) have recently been added to the SVHC list under REACH.
The European Commission considers that the risk to human health arising from the placing on the market or use of PFCA C9-C14, its salts and related substances is unacceptable and should be addressed at EU level.
The restriction covers perfluorocarboxylic acids containing nine to fourteen carbon atoms in the chain, as well as related substances.
The following table lists the main restrictions:
|Sum of PFCA C9-C14 and its salts||<25 ppb|
|Sum of related substances||<260 ppb|
|Present in a substance to be used as a transported isolated intermediate||<10 ppm|
|Present in PTFE micropowders, as well as in blends and articles for industrial and professional uses containing PTFE micropowders.||<1000 ppb for the sum of PFCA C9-C14|
|Fluoroplastics and fluoroelastomers containing perfluoroalkoxy groups||<2000 ppb for the sum of PFCA C9-C14|
The restrictions will come into force from 25th February 2023, so will not apply to items placed on the market before this date, although there are exceptions for certain applications which will have longer transition periods. Details can be found in the legal text.