Toxic substances list: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and precursors

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and precursors are industrial chemicals that belong to the broad class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are a class of over 4,700 human-made substances. In April 2021, the Government of Canada indicated that it is considering activities that would address PFAS as a class. Visit the PFAS web page for the latest information on publications and actions taken under the Government's Chemicals Management Plan related to PFAS.

PFOA, its salts and precursors are fluorochemicals that contain carbon atoms that are completely saturated by fluorine. It is the strength of the carbon-fluorine bonds that contributes to the extreme stability and unique properties of these fluorinated chemicals.

PFOA is a compound with a chain length containing seven perfluorinated carbon atoms (C7F15) that are bonded to a carboxylic moiety (CO2H), for a total of eight carbons (C8).

PFOA, its salts and precursors have water, oil, dirt and grease repellant properties and can be found in a variety of products including personal care products, cleaning products, and surface treatments for textiles, upholstery, leather, automotive parts, carpet and paper products, and packaging. They can also be found in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) used in firefighting, specifically fuel fires, and electrical and electronic equipment such as semi-conductors.

For more information on these substances, please visit the Chemical Substances website and the Chemicals at a glance information sheet for PFOA, its salts and precursors.

Risk assessment

Risk management strategy

Strategies and actions recommended to manage risks associated with these substances:

Risk management tools

Tools developed to manage risks associated with these substances:

International engagement

For information on Canada's international engagement on these substances, please visit:


Consultations (past and present) on these substances:

Other information


Chemicals Management Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3


Substances Management Information Line:
Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (in Canada) or 819-938-3232
Fax: 819-938-3231


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