PFOA stands for perfluorooctanoic acid, a synthetic (man-made) chemical that does not occur naturally in the environment. PFOA is sometimes called "C8." Companies use PFOA to make fluoropolymers, substances with special properties that have thousands of important manufacturing and industrial applications. Consumer products made with fluoropolymers include non-stick cookware and breathable, all-weather clothing. More BASIC INFORMATION about PFOA.
EPA began its investigation because PFOA is very persistent in the environment, was being found at very low levels both in the environment and in the blood of the general U.S. population, and caused developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals. EPA summarized its concerns and identified data gaps and uncertainties about PFOA in a notice published in the Federal Register.
EPA is negotiating with multiple parties to produce missing information on PFOA through enforceable consent agreements, memoranda of understanding, and voluntary commitments. Information on these activities is available in the online dockets and on the PFOA Meetings page.
EPA has established the following public dockets for the various activities related to PFOA:
PFOA enforceable consent agreement (ECA) process - docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2003-0012
Fluoropolymer incineration ECA - docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2003-0071
Fluorotelomer incineration ECA - docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2004-0001
3M PFOA monitoring Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2004-0112
Dupont PFOA monitoring MOU - docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2004-0113
You can access the publicly available materials in these dockets either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Rm. B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, D.C. The EPA Docket Center has a Public Reading Room that is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566–1744