PFAS Information

PFAS are a family of chemicals used in many industrial sectors and consumer products. They have water-repellent, oil repellent, non-stick and heat-resistant properties. They are very persistent in the environment and in the body and can cause negative health effects. PFAS is the acronym for “perfluoroalkyl substances”. These are chemical compounds belonging to the category of surfactants and used since 1950 in a wide range of industrial applications and beyond.

For example, PFAS are necessary for:

  • Body care products
  • Firefighting foams
  • Waterproof and make various objects less sensitive to grease and encrustation, such as:
      • Food containers and packaging, e.g. plastic boxes, wax paper etc.
      • Pots, e.g. non-stick pans, etc.
      • Object coatings, e.g. carpets, seats, sofas etc.
      • Clothing, e.g. leather, Gore-Tex® etc.

Some examples of PFAS are:

  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)
  • Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  • Perfluorononananoic acid (PFNA)
  • Perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA).

River uses raw materials with a very low content of these substances 25 ppb as required by European regulation 1000/2017 and does not add any substances containing PFAS or similar to its production cycle.

ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) has proposed a universal restriction for around 10,000 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are widely used in society and are increasingly detected as environmental pollutants, and some are linked to adverse health effects. PFAS substances contain carbon-fluorine bonds, which are one of the strongest chemical bonds in organic chemistry. This means they resist degradation when used and also in the environment. Most PFAS are also easily transported into the environment, covering long distances away from the source of their release. PFAS have frequently been observed to contaminate groundwater, surface water, and soil.