Information on PFOS and PFOA

PFOS, PFOA and PFTs in connection with textile finishes


Media discussions about perfluor octanesulphonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorinated surfactants (PFTs) in connection with textile finishes have been generalised. The impregnation of textiles for the purpose of making them water and oil-repellent has, by mistake, been named to be the source of the compounds mentioned.

However, PFOS, PFOA and PFTs are not used for finishing textile substrates; the majority originates from other fields of application such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) compounds, galvanic processes, use in fire-extinguishing foams etc.

In textile auxiliaries for the water/oil-repellent finishing, the criticised perfluorinated acids and surfactants can at most be contained as byproducts in the range of < 0.5 ppm caused by manufacturing.

As mobile fluorine compounds have been used for years, PFOA, PFOS and other PFTs are ubiquitously detectable.

The analytical methods for determining perfluorinated substances are constantly being refined - not least with a view to further protecting the environment and to be able to prove even extremely small quantities of fluorine compounds in the range of only a few „parts per billion“ (ppb). Improved analytical methods are confirming the worldwide existing basic pollution.

For producing fluorocarbon polymers, RUDOLF uses monomers from a process in which, as intended, no perfluorooctanesulphonic acid (PFOS) arises or accumulates as a by-product.

The classic C8 fluorocarbon range by RUDOLF GmbH may contain smallest amounts of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) only, which arises as a byproduct from the perfluorinated monomers that are used for polymerisation. The detectible amount of PFOA on finished textiles is within ppb range if commonly used quantities are applied.

With high-performance products of the C6 ®RUCO-GUARD and C6 ®RUCOSTAR product range, RUDOLF has offered alternatives to the classic C8 fluorocarbon resins for many years. Monomers of a shorter chain length are used here which cannot biodegrade into PFOA, not even in the long run.

A further level of development is BIONIC-FINISH®ECO, durable water repellency without fluorocarbon resins. It provides very good, sustainable and durable water-repellent properties.

No perfluorinated compounds are used for manufacturing BIONIC-FINISH®ECO products. Thus, ®RUCO-DRY ECO and ®RUCO-DRY ECO PLUS are not based on substances that contain perfluorinated groups.