Chemical Water Contamination: PFAS, PFOA, PFOS, POPs Regulations

By: Joseph Lee on February 6th, 2023

What are PFAS and What are the Health Risks?

What are PFAS? Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, otherwise known as “PFAS”, are man-made chemicals that include PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctane Sulfonate). These chemicals are also commonly described as POPs (persistent organic pollutants) or “forever chemicals” because the robust nature of their structure means they remain in the environment for over 1,000 years. 

The first PFAS were invented in the 1930’s and were initially seen as a beneficial chemical, widely used in nonstick pans and waterproof coatings. PFAS was developed into a highly effective way of combating petroleum fires using fire-retardant foam. Now, PFAS are present in a wide range of products from oil-resistant food packaging to stain resistant household fabrics and corrosion resistant metals. 

According to the EPA, POPs and PFAS chemicals are carcinogenic and harmful to human health. Some health effects are: 

  • Increased cholesterol levels 
  • Thyroid disease 
  • Developmental effects 
  • Cancer 
  • Kidney and liver damage 
Chemical POPs PFAS Compliance Manager

Figure: SiliconExpert’s Compliance Management dashboard with source documentation


What are the PFAS Regulations? 

Beginning in 2001, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was formed to study the effects of PFAS on wildlife and human health. Since then, the United States has signed the Stockholm Convention in 2022 and the European Union has enacted a POPs Regulation (No. 2019/1021) to ban or restrict the use of POPs in both chemical products and articles. 

Automate POPs and PFAS Regulation Compliance

The research required to check material declarations and certificates of conformance (CoC) is time consuming and it is often difficult to procure up-to-date sources of information. 

The SiliconExpert database has now been updated to include POPs, PFOA, and PFOS compliance with records of the material declarations and CoC’s from suppliers. Users can now upload a full bill-of-materials (BOM) and access a compliance dashboard which gives an instant health check as well as detailed information about the regulation. Drill down into non-compliant parts and find suitable pin-to-pin alternatives. 

To learn more about SiliconExpert’s BOM Manager and Compliance solutions, request a free demo below: 

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