6 PFAS Electronics Statistics on ‘Forever Chemicals’ and How They Threaten the Industry

By: Joe Corbisiero on July 9th, 2024

The electronics industry is facing one of its biggest regulatory challenges as global agencies start closing in on PFAS ‘Forever Chemical’ use. We’ve compiled 6 PFAS electronics statistics to help you and your development teams understand the latest impacts on part selection and use. PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ restrictions are compounding one of the biggest regulatory challenges as global agencies reinforce the regulations. As regulations change, SiliconExpert is examining over one billion components for these ‘Forever Chemicals’ and analyzing some key statistics about PFAS use in the electronics industry. With the United States PFAS reporting deadline approaching in 2025 and the European Union already restricting some PFAS synthetic chemicals under the EU’s SVHC, electronics manufacturers need to verify if the components in their electronics are subject to new regulations.

The Role of PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Electronics

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are man-made synthetic chemicals that include PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctane Sulfonate). PFAS is often referred to as ‘Forever Chemicals’ because they do not break down in the environment or within living organisms. These synthetic chemicals are carcinogenic and are harmful to humans and animals.

While harmful to living organisms, PFAS chemicals are used in the electronics industry for a multitude of beneficial purposes. Below are some examples of where PFAS can be found in electronics and why:

  • Semiconductors: PFAS are used in semiconductor manufacturing in photolithography and equipment components, providing low surface tension and heat resistance. They help reduce defects and ensure chemical compatibility while also enhancing equipment durability and reliability.
  • Wire and Cables: A subset of PFAS called fluoropolymers can be found in insulated cables thanks to their ability to withstand harsh conditions. They help cables withstand high temperatures, corrosion, and water while also being flame-retardant and flexible.
  • Printed Circuit Boards: PCBs can contain PFAS fluoropolymers, especially when used for microwave applications. These polymers help PCBs by resisting heat and chemicals and having non-stick, low-friction properties.

6 PFAS Electronics Statistics You Need to Know

PFAS use in Electronics. Over 39,000 components contain PFAS. Over 15,000 substances contain PFAS. Over 250 Types of Components contain PFAS

With SiliconExpert, you can check your parts in our database of over one billion components to verify if they may be impacted by global regulations like PFAS. After a deep dive into our database, we found six key statistics about how PFAS may impact electronics.

  1. Over 39,000 components contain some form of PFAS.

  2. 15,000 regulated substances like PTFE, PFOS, and PFOA were found in parts within our database.

  3. Teflon is the most common substance used in electronic components 90% of the time.

  4. 250 types of parts contain PFAS.

  5. The top 6 electronic components that contain PFAS are resistors, capacitors, wire and cable, RF and Microwave, and encoders.

  6. 74% of parts affected by PFAS originate in the United States.

PFAS use in Electronics. 74% of PFAS affected parts come from the USA. 90% of electronic components with PFAS contain Teflon.

Important Dates to Know in Global PFAS ‘Forever Chemical’ Regulations

As you can see from the 6 PFAS electronics statistics, PFAS regulations have a significant impact on the components used in your parts lists. Regulatory agencies worldwide are currently analyzing how PFAS impacts the environment and deciding on what actions need to be taken to mitigate its impact. As a result, forever chemical regulations are inconsistent from region to region and electronics manufacturers need to ensure they are abiding by all local compliance requirements.

United States

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a)(7), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring businesses to report if they have manufactured or imported articles containing PFAS between January 1st, 2011 to December 31st, 2022. The report must be submitted to the EPA by May 8th, 2025.  

Many other states are proposing legislation to ban the use of PFAS entirely, so it is important for manufacturers to know if their products contain PFAS and be able to find alternatives if an individual state enacts an all out PFAS ban.

European Union

The European Union has assembled a committee to discuss the restriction of over 10,000 substances that contain PFAS. With a decision expected some time next year, manufacturers need to start examining their components for PFAS and decide how they want to handle their REACH requirements.


Canada already has PFOS and PFOA listed as toxic substances and banned their use in certain products, but still currently allows their use for photolithography for the production of integrated circuits. However, Canadian officials are still investigating the impact of PFAS on the environment and are proposing additional controls on the man-made synthetic chemicals.   

3M’s PFAS Cautionary Tale

As governments try to mitigate the impact of PFAS forever chemicals entering drinking water, 3M’s recent settlement serves as a warning to manufacturers of the financial consequences of using the substances in their products or in their manufacturing processes. 3M will pay over $10 billion in settlements for their production of PFAS chemicals after the harmful compounds ended up in drinking water in about 300 communities.

Check Your ACL & BOMS to Learn Which Components Contain PFAS

With SiliconExpert’s compliance solutions manufacturers can check their components to see if they are affected by global PFAS regulations. Fulfill your compliance reporting needs with downloadable material declarations for your parts. Our compliance solutions allow you to also check your components against other global regulations like REACH, RoHS, California Prop 65, and more.

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