Government of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) that contain from 9 to 20 carbon atoms (C9-C20), their salts and their precursors

Help on accessing alternative formats, such as Portable Document Format (PDF), Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (PPT) files, can be obtained in the alternate format help section.

Risk Management Action Milestones

In October 2016, the Regulations Amending the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 (the Amendments) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II: Vol. 150, No. 20 - October 5, 2016 (PDF Version – 4,185 K) and will come into force in December 2016. The Amendments prohibit long-chain PFCAs, their salts and their precursors and products containing them, unless present in manufactured items. Time-limited exemptions and ongoing uses are provided for certain uses where the development of alternatives is underway or where there are currently no known alternatives.

In April 2015, the proposed Regulations Amending the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012 (proposed Amendments) were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 149, No. 14 - April 4, 2015 (PDF Version - 815 K), for a 75-day public comment period ending June 18, 2015. Comments were considered in the final development of these Regulations. Comments and the Government's response are summarized in the Summary of Public Comments on the proposed Regulations Amending the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations, 2012.

In January 2014, a Consultation Document on the Proposed Risk Management Measure for Long-Chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs), their Salts and their Precursors was published. Comments and the Government's response are summarized in the Summary of Public Comments on the Consultation Document on the Proposed Risk Management Measure for Long-Chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs), their Salts and their Precursors. Comments received were considered during the development of the proposed risk management action.

In June 2006, a Notice of Action Plan for the assessment and management of PFCAs and their precursors was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 140, No. 44 - June 17, 2006. (PDF Version - 1,906 K). The Action Plan included measures to prevent the introduction of new substances into Canada that would contribute to the level of PFCAs in the environment, and to seek action from industry to address sources of PFCAs already in Canadian commerce.

To this end, a voluntary Environmental Performance Agreement Respecting Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs) and their Precursors in Perfluorochemical Products Sold in Canada (the Performance Agreement) was signed on March 30, 2010. Signatories to the Performance Agreement agreed to reduce the amount of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and long-chain PFCAs in perfluorinated chemicals in Canadian commerce by 95% by December 31, 2010, and to eliminate them by December 31, 2015. The Performance Agreement was implemented as an early risk management action while Environment Canada and Health Canada pursued further assessment to guide future risk management actions.

Adding Substances to Schedule 1

Long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts and their precursors were determined to meet one or more of the criteria in section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) and therefore have been included in a final Order to add to Schedule 1.

Final Ecological Screening Assessment and Proposed Risk Management Approach

In August 2012, the Final Ecological Screening Assessment on Long-chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids, their Salts, and their Precursors was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 146, No. 34 - August 25, 2012 (PDF Version - 1,434 K).

The final ecological screening assessment concluded that long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts, and their precursors meet one or more of the criteria in section 64 of the CEPA 1999.

Additionally, it is concluded that long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs and their salts meet the criteria for persistence but do not meet the criteria for bioaccumulation potential set out in the Persistence and Bioaccumulation Regulations. Nevertheless, the weight-of-evidence is sufficient to conclude that long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs and their salts accumulate and biomagnify in terrestrial and marine mammals.

A Proposed Risk Management Approach on Long-chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs), their Salts, and their Precursors was also released on August 25, 2012 for a 60-day public comment period. Comments and the Government's response are summarized in the Summary of Public Comments on the Proposed Risk Management Approach on Long-chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs), their Salts, and their Precursors. Comments received were considered during the development of the proposed risk management action.

Draft Ecological Screening Assessment and Risk Management Scope

In October, 2010, the draft Ecological Screening Assessment on long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts, and their precursors was released and the related Notice was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 144 No. 44 - October 30, 2010 (PDF Version - 1,091 K) for a 60-day public comment period. A risk management scope document was also released in conjunction with this publication.

The draft ecological screening assessment of 14 precursors to long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts, and their precursors (CAS Nos. 678-39-7, 65530-63-4, 65530-66-7, 65530-71-4, 65530-72-5, 65530-74-7, 65605-58-5, 65605-70-1, 65636-35-3, 68239-43-0, 68391-08-2, 68412-68-0, 110053-43-5 and 115592-83-1), was conducted under sections 68 and 74 of the CEPA 1999 because they were found to meet the ecological categorization criteria for persistence and/or bioaccumulation potential and inherent toxicity to non-human organisms.

The draft ecological screening assessment of long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts, and their precursors was conducted under section 68 of CEPA 1999 because they were not found to meet the categorization criteria, or they were not categorized since they do not appear on the Domestic Substances List (DSL).

The draft ecological screening assessment proposes to conclude that long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts, and their precursors are entering the environment in concentrations or quantities or under conditions that pose a risk to the environment. Therefore, long-chain (C9-C20) PFCAs, their salts, and their precursors meet one or more of the criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999. The Ministers of the Environment and of Health therefore proposed to add these substances to Schedule 1 of the Act.

The public comments received were considered and addressed within the final screening assessment, and a Summary of Public Comments on the Draft Screening Assessment on Long-chain (C9-C20) Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs) is available.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us.