In 2006-07 NICNAS continued to contribute to international work on the investigation of the health and environmental effects, production, and use of perfluorinated chemicals, and the harmonisation of regulatory approaches to their assessment. Perfluorinated chemicals under investigation encompass perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) group, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and their related chemical substances. NICNAS collated and analysed the results of a 2006 survey of OECD member (and some other) countries on the production, importation and use of these chemicals and products/mixtures containing them. Results were compared with those of a 2004 OECD survey to provide a trend analysis of production, importation and use of these chemicals. The analysis was published as an OECD document.

 

A report on the survey results was provided to the OECD’s 40th Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology held 15-17 November 2006, and subsequently presented at a Workshop on Perfluorocarboxylic Acids (PFCAs) and Precursors, held 20-22 November 2006, which brought together 55 delegates from OECD member countries, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee, environmental non-governmental organisations and academic institutions. The group discussed topics including environmental monitoring and biomonitoring, environmental long range transport and fate, uses, sources, the societal value of perfluorinated chemicals and risk reduction approaches including regulation. NICNAS was a member of the steering committee organising the workshop.

 

Further work on the identification of perfluorinated compounds was undertaken by NICNAS during the year, with a comprehensive listing of perfluorinated chemicals prepared by NICNAS for the OECD in 2004-05 declassified and published by the OECD, and an update of the list also undertaken following analysis of the 2006 survey results. This updated list is due to be published in 2007-08.

 

Participation in this international work on perfluorinated chemicals assisted in NICNAS drafting a position paper on data requirements for notification of new chemicals under the Act.