Japan Adds PFOS, PFOA to Designated Water Pollutant List

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting Tuesday an enforcement order for the water pollution prevention law to newly add four substances, including perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, to the list of designated pollutants.

The enforcement order will be put into effect on Feb. 1 next year.

PFOS and PFOA, which are hard to degrade, have been used in water repellent and firefighting foam. There are concerns about their health effects if accumulated in people's bodies.

Production of PFOS and PFOA is prohibited in Japan now. The Environment Ministry has set a provisional limit on the combined amount of the substances in water for public use or groundwater at 50 nanograms per liter.

These substances are drawing attention as above-limit levels of PFOA have been found in waste water from a U.S. base in Japan and such water has been leaked to a river due to fire extinguishing equipment malfunctioning at another U.S. base in the country.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press