The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) considers
perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) as developmental toxins and has placed both compounds on the Prop 65 list. The Office based its decision on a finding of the EPA, which classifies both substances as toxic to reproduction. However, the EPA has not limited use of the compounds. Both agencies argue that ultimately, proper use of the substances does not pose any danger to human health or the environment because exposure is limited. Accordingly, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) has criticized the OEHHA for moving too quickly.
Consumer protection is the goal of Prop 65. The law lists more than 800 chemicals as carcinogenic and toxic to reproduction. The list is updated and published once a year. Companies that want to sell consumer goods, like textiles, utensils, do-it-yourself articles, toys, items for young people, and electronic and electrical products, must ensure that their products do not pose any significant danger to health. But if they do pose any danger, they must be labeled with clear warnings.
Only in June 2017 did the EU decide on restriction procedures for PFOA and precursor substances; as of July 4, 2020, PFOA may not be manufactured or sold. The threshold for PFOA is set at 25 ppb and at 1,000 ppb for PFOA precursor compounds. Exceptions apply only to protective work clothing and fire extinguisher foams. PFOA is also a candidate for inclusion in the list of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. PFOS has been included in Annex B of restricted substances since May 2009.
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