26 Sep 2023

In a significant environmental development, the European Union (EU) has expanded its persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Recast Regulation to encompass PFHxS, along with its salts and related compounds. This legislative expansion came into force on August 28, 2023.

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) represent a class of toxic chemicals that can be either naturally occurring or synthetic. These substances share traits of being persistent, bioaccumulative, semi-volatile, and intrinsically highly toxic. The EU’s POPs Regulation, originally established in 2019, is designed to restrict and, in some cases, prohibit the production, market presence, and utilization of POPs.

Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) is a member of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) family, serving as an alternative to perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFHxS finds widespread application in various industries, including firefighting foams, metal plating, textiles, leather, polishes, cleaning agents, coatings, and electronics.

The presence of PFHxS and similar substances poses a direct threat to human health and the environment, accumulating within the bodies of both humans and wildlife and contributing to global pollution.

On August 8, 2023, the European Commission introduced a revised amendment (EU) 2023/1608 to the EU Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation 2019/1021. This amendment specifically integrates perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts, and PFHxS-related compounds into the regulation, with particular provisions for intermediate use or specific scenarios.

The limits established for PFHxS, its salts, and related compounds in substances, mixtures, and articles are as follows:

  • PFHxS or any of its salts: ≤ 25 ppb (0.025 mg/kg)
  • PFHxS-related compounds: ≤ 1 mg/kg (sum).
  • PFHxS in firefighting foam mixtures: ≤ 0.1 mg/kg

ComplianceXL extends its support to companies seeking PFAS compliance. We offer consulting services in this domain and assist with the collection of PFAS declarations from vendors. Additionally, we help our clients with maintaining up-to-date certificates and declarations from their suppliers, ensuring a robust compliance data management strategy.


1. What are PFHxS and PFHxS-related compounds means?

  • Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) including any of its branched isomers.
  • PFHxS-related compounds are substances that degrade to PFHxS, including substances that contain the chemical moiety C6F13S- as one of its structural elements.

2. What is the limit set for PFHxS in firefighting foams?

The limit set for PFHxS in firefighting foams is ≤ 0.1 mg/kg