Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 9–20 | Cite as

Progress and perspective of perfluorinated compound risk assessment and management in various countries and institutes

  • Yasuyuki Zushi
  • Jonathan Nartey Hogarh
  • Shigeki MasunagaEmail author


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and related compounds have recently been designated as target chemicals for regulation by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Many countries have investigated and tried to implement various countermeasures in response to this decision. In this article, we collect reports concerning regulations and risk evaluations of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and review the current PFC management practiced in various countries. The first part of this review contains a comprehensive collection of proposed standard PFC values, including provisional tolerable daily intakes (pTDI), drinking water guidelines, and predicted non-effect concentrations (PNEC). The pTDI values ranged from 0.1 to 0.3 μg/kg/day for PFOS, and there are wide margins of safety for adults. Health risks for plant workers exposed to PFCs and for infants are of particular concern. The application of these proposed values in controlling PFC pollution is one approach that may effectively control human health risk without unduly sacrificing the benefits from PFC use. The second part of this review contains a collection and review of a number of regulations and countermeasures, such as an EU directive, regulation in Canada, and the Significant New Use Rule (SNUR), including voluntary control (i.e., production phase-out by 3M, stewardship programs, regulation in the semiconductor industry). Most of these regulations are based principally on the precautionary principle. However, they may not be as effective in pollution reduction as intended because the chemicals in question are already widely distributed in the environment owing to their use and mobility in the environment. In addition, these types of regulations would be non-operative in developing countries because rapidly growing economies place great demand on high performance materials, including PFCs. Further development of risk assessment methods that allow the evaluation of the counter risks of PFC alternatives and the loss of benefits from the PFC ban is necessary because of the possible continuous use of PFCs, especially in developing countries.


Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) Guideline Risk assessment Management Regulation TDI 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasuyuki Zushi
    • 1
  • Jonathan Nartey Hogarh
    • 1
  • Shigeki Masunaga
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences Yokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan

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