PFCs (perfluorinated compounds) are synthetic chemicals which impart stain and oil resistance and water repellence, thereby ensuring durability and easy cleanability of the textile and carpet products to which they are added.
Long-chain PFCs are of particular concern because they are found around the world and are bioaccumulative. Significant adverse effects have been identified in laboratory animals and wildlife. PFCs are released during manufacture, product degradation over its life, and disposal.
The U.S. EPA has been working with some major chemical manufacturers to eliminate the production of long-chain PFCs and review substitutes.
What Can I Do On My Project?
• Request Health Product Declarations (HPD) from product vendors and manufacturers.
An HPD identifies health hazards associated with product ingredients.
• Ask textile and carpet manufacturers whether their products contain long-chain PFCs for stain or water repellence.
Note: some long-chain PFC abbreviations to avoid include PFOA, PFAS, PFAC, PFHxS and PFOS.
• Inhalation of PFC off-gassing from products.
• Ingestion through environmental exposure.
• Exposure can be prenatal and through breastfeeding, via mother’s ingestion. Babies (always with hands to mouth) and young children are most vulnerable.
• Reproductive and developmental deficiencies
• Carcinogenic potential
• Immunotoxic and immunosuppressive