Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of over 4,700 human-made substances that are used as surfactants, lubricants, repellents (for dirt, water, and grease). They can be found in certain firefighting foams, textiles (including carpets, furniture, and clothing), cosmetics, and in food packaging materials.
Adverse environmental and health effects have been observed for well-studied PFAS (PFOS, PFOA, and LC-PFCAs and their salts and precursors) and they have been shown to pose a risk to the Canadian environment. In Canada, PFOS, PFOA, and LC-PFCAs (and their salts and precursors) are prohibited through regulations; however, scientific evidence to date indicates the PFAS used to replace regulated PFOS, PFOA, and LC-PFCAs may also be associated with environmental and/or human health effects.
Therefore, the Government of Canada is considering activities that would address PFAS as a class. A notice of intent to address the broad class of PFAS was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 155 No. 17 – April 24, 2021.
In 2021, the Government of Canada will:
- continue to invest in research and monitoring on PFAS
- collect and examine information on PFAS to inform a class-based approach
- review policy developments in other jurisdictions
In addition, within the next 2 years, the Government of Canada will publish a state of PFAS report, which will summarize relevant information on the class of PFAS.
Stakeholders and interested parties will have opportunities to provide input to help inform Government of Canada activities related to addressing PFAS as a class. As a first step, stakeholders are invited to provide initial feedback on the intent to address PFAS as a class, including challenges or opportunities they foresee, or indicate their interest in being engaged in future discussions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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