Perfluorooctanoic acid

PFOA, Pentadecafluorooctanoic acid; formula: C8HF15O2; CAS Registry Number: 335-67-1
Structure of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Source: GSBL Joint Substance Database

Fluorocarbon with 8 C-atoms

Perfluorooctane acid (PFOA) is a fluorosurfactant with a polar carboxylic group and a hydrophobic and und lipophobic (water- and fat-repellent) perfluorinated C-chain. Due to these properties it is widely used for instance in textile-, leather- and paper-impregnation and sealing of stone, tiles and wood. PFOA is component of waxes, cable insulations, industrial cleaning agents and fire-fighting foams. In its acid form it is an intermediate in fluoroacrylic production. Its salts are mainly used as emulsifiers in the production of fluoropolymers such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, tradenames Teflon®, Gore-Tex®), polyvinylidene fluoride and fluoroelastomers.
During production and use it may be emitted into the environment. It is highly persistent and may be subject to long-range transport. PFOA has a high potential for bioaccumulation. In animal experiments it is carcinogenic, toxic and endrocrine disruptive. It is toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.

Risk assessment of PFOA is still ongoing. Nevertheless, under the leadership of the US-EPA six producers of PFOA have agreed on a voluntary 95%-reduction of PFOA emissions by 2010 and a complete renouncement by 2015.


Bream Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
Eelpout As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.
Herring gull Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.
Roe deer, one-year-old The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
Students Student groups with an even number of female and male students at the age of 20 to 29.

Sampling area

BR/NP Berchtesgaden The only high mountains national park in Germany and an area of the Limestone Alps with international relevance
Saarländischer Verdichtungsraum Important, old-industrialised conurbation in Germany.
Bornhöveder Seengebiet Main water divide between the North- and Baltic Sea
Rhein Longest river in Germany
NP Bayerischer Wald Germany's first national park
NP Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park in the largest brackish water (Bodden) habitat of the world.
BR/NP Wattenmeere National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.
Elbe Fourth largest river basin in Central Europe
Verdichtungsraum Halle-Leipzig Region in the chemical triangle of Central Germany
NP Harz Germany's largest forest national park
Solling Second highest and largest low mountain range in Northern Germany
BR Pfälzerwald Germany's largest connected forest area in a range of low mountains
Oberbayerisches Tertiärhügelland The Upper Bavarian Tertiary Uplands are a part of the Southern German Molasse Basin
Donau Second largest river in Europe
Sampling sites (humans) 4 university cities as sampling areas.

Sampling period

1982 - 2016

Extended information

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