PFHxS Substances Formally Included in EU POPs Regulations
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On August 8, 2023, the European Commission issued the revised amendment (EU) 2023/1608 to the European Union Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation (EU) 2019/1021. This amendment officially designates PFHxS and its salts, as well as related substances, to be listed in Annex I of the EU POPs Regulation. The revised regulation will come into effect on the 20th day from the date of publication in the official journal and will be applicable to all member states. The specific revisions are as follows:

In Part A of Annex I to Regulation (EU) 2019/1021, the following entry is added:




Specific exemption on intermediate use or other specification

‘Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds

“Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds” means the following:

(i)      perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, including any of its branched isomers;

(ii)     its salts;

(iii)    PFHxS-related compounds which, for the purposes of the Convention, are any substance that contains the chemical moiety C6F13S- as one of its structural elements and that degrades to PFHxS.

355-46-4 and others

206-587-1 and others

1. For the purposes of this entry, Article 4(1), point (b), shall apply to concentrations of PFHxS or any of its salts equal to or below 0,025 mg/kg (0,0000025 % by weight) where they are present in substances, mixtures or articles.

2. For the purposes of this entry, Article 4(1), point (b), shall apply to the sum of concentrations of all PFHxS-related compounds equal to or below 1 mg/kg (0,0001 % by weight) where they are present in substances, mixtures or articles.

3. For the purposes of this entry, Article 4(1), point (b), shall apply to concentrations of PFHxS, its salts and PFHxS-related compounds equal to or below 0,1 mg/kg (0,00001 % by weight) where it is present in concentrated firefighting foam mixtures that are to be used or are used in the production of other firefighting foam mixtures. This exemption shall be reviewed and assessed by the Commission no later than 28 August 2026.’

About Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid (PFHxS)

Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) is a type of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compound, serving as a substitute for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). It is extensively used in various applications such as firefighting foams, metal plating, textiles, leather, polishes, cleaning/detergent agents, coatings, electronics, and semiconductor manufacturing. Due to its characteristic of long-range environmental transport, PFHxS may pose significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment. In 2017, PFHxS and its salts were listed as substances of very high concern (SVHC) by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). In June of last year, PFHxS, its 147 salts, and related compounds were also included in Annex A of the Stockholm Convention's list of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), without any exemptions.

About Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a class of naturally occurring or synthetic organic pollutants characterized by their persistence, bioaccumulation, semi-volatility, and high toxicity. They can undergo long-range transport through various environmental media (air, water, biota) and pose serious threats to human health and the ecological environment.

The European Union POPs Regulation, released in 2019, aims to manage substances listed in Annexes to the Stockholm Convention. Its main objectives include:

  • Prohibiting or strictly limiting the production, placing on the market, and use of POPs.
  • Minimizing environmental emissions of POPs formed as industrial by-products.
  • Ensuring safe storage of restricted POPs.
  • Ensuring environmentally sound disposal of waste contaminated with or consisting of POPs.

Warm Reminds

Global regulations on PFAS substances are becoming increasingly stringent. It is imperative for relevant businesses to closely monitor the latest regulatory policies and stay informed about cutting-edge technological approaches to ensure the compliance and safety of their products.

CIRS C&K Testing can offer businesses EU POPs and global PFAS compliance analysis and testing services, providing a comprehensive one-stop solution for consulting, testing, and certification.

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