Yes. At AWC® all the ingredients used in the manufacturing of our chemicals are PFAS free because of the extra precautions we take in our manufacturing process. But first, what are PFAS and why are they bad?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (also known as PFAS or forever chemicals)
These are long lasting synthetic chemicals that do not occur naturally and are widely used in manufacturing. They are made of strong carbon-fluorine bonds that take a very long time to breakdown in the environment.1
They are so widespread that many are found in the bloodstream of humans and scientific studies show that exposure to some PFAS may be linked to harmful health effects2. Many cities around the world are struggling with PFAS in their municipal water supply which they have yet begun to address, and regulatory bodies are proposing enforceable measures/guidelines to reduce exposure through drinking water. The EPA has proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 4 parts per trillion3. This means that water containing parts per million (ppm) levels of PFAS used in antiscalant manufacturing could cause an end-user to exceed the proposed standard even though the antiscalant is dosed in ppm.
AWC® precautions in manufacturing
While other chemical manufacturers and toll blenders use softened tap water in their blends, which does not effectively remove PFAS4, AWC® ensures our manufacturing remains PFAS-free by using ultra pure water in the manufacturing of our chemicals. We achieve this by treating all water with Reverse Osmosis (RO) after which the permeate is polished with mixed bed ion exchange to a resistivity of 18 megaohm (MΩ).
Reverse Osmosis and Ion Exchange Resins are both efficient at removing PFAS/PFOA5. By using this multi-step process, we ensure that our chemical products are free of detectable PFAS/PFOA and will therefore not contribute PFAS to any municipal RO plants.
United States: Under the safe drinking water act, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 14, 2023, proposed a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) to establish legally enforceable levels, called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), for six PFAS in drinking water. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as individual contaminants, and PFHxS, PFNA, PFBS, and HFPO-DA (commonly referred to as GenX Chemicals) as a PFAS mixture. EPA is also proposing health-based, non-enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for these six PFAS. The proposal is still not finalized but when fully implemented, EPA anticipates that the rule will save lives and reduce serious illnesses linked to PFAS.
The EU has limits of 100 nanograms per litre (ng/L) for the sum of 20 PFAS and 500 ng/L for the sum of all PFAS in drinking water. In Canada, federal departments worked together to propose an objective of 30 nanograms per litre (ng/L) as a summed total of all PFAS measured in drinking water.6
A lot is still unknown about PFAS, such as how to better detect and measure them, how harmful they are to people and how to manage & dispose them safely. However, they have been linked to harmful health effects which is driving regulators to limit exposure to people in drinking water.
At AWC®, we do our part to ensure that all the ingredients including the water used in the manufacturing of our products are PFAS free.
NPDWR: National Primary Drinking Water Regulation
PFOA: Perfluorooctanoic acid
PFOS: Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid
PFNA: Perfluorononanoic acid
HFPO-DA: Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (commonly known as GenX Chemicals)
PFHxS: Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid
PFBS: Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid