Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), PFCs
Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are included in the group F-gases. F-gases have a significant greenhouse gas effect. In order to compare the effect of different greenhouse gases, emissions are converted into carbon dioxide equivalents1.
PFCs are used within the electronic industry for production of semiconductors2. PFC gases have earlier been used for sound proofing in windows.
Sources and transportation pathways
PFC gases do not exist naturally in the atmosphere but are produced synthetically. The most important transportation pathway is by emissions to air from industrial processes. In Sweden, emissions are reported from larger operations within the sector production and processing of metals (primary aluminium production).
Effects on environment and health
PFCs are potent greenhouse gases that contribute to the increased greenhouse gas effect3. The increased greenhouse gas effect results in an increase of the average temperature on earth, which for example leads to climate change and rising of the sea level4,5. Some PFCs can also cause harmful long-term effects on aquatic organisams6.
Health effects vary somewhat between different perfluorocarbons. Some PFCs may cause damages to liver and kidneys7, whereas others may irritate the skin and cause severe eye irritation8,9.
International agreements and regulations
Perfluorocarbons are regulated by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as well as by the EU MMR (525/2013/EU), the EU ETS (2003/87/EU) and the EU F-gas regulation (517/2014/EU). The UN Protocol on PRTRs and the EU E-PRTR regulation regulate how data on perfluorocarbons is made available.-----------------------------------------------------
1 http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Sa-mar-miljon/Statistik-A-O/Vaxthusgaser-konsumtionsbaserade-utslapp-fran-exporterande-foretag/Koldioxidekvivalenter/2 http://www.eusemiconductors.eu/esia/public-policy/sustainability-esh/pfc-gases3 http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Sa-mar-miljon/Klimat-och-luft/Klimat/Darfor-blir-det-varmare/Andra-vaxthusgaser/4 http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf5 http://www.smhi.se/kunskapsbanken/klimat/vaxthuseffekten-1.38446 https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/151027 https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/763588 https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/961719 https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/15102