Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid: Aquatic Toxicity Profile

CAS RN: 
375-85-9
Alternate name(s): 
PFHxS
perfluorohexanesulfonate
Primary use(s): 
Industrial chemical
Priority: 
Medium

Contaminant overview

PFHxS is a chemical used as a surfactant in a variety of industrial and commercial products such as food packaging, stain and water-resistant materials, fire-fighting foams and paint additives. The likely environmental sources are from introduction via commercial production or during use (such as with fire-fighting foams). PFHxS is not frequently detected in any matrix (1, 2, and 5% of samples in fish tissue, water and sediment, respectively; in one study). It is typically detected near a production or use site.

Environmental implications of PFHxS

  • Not toxic to aquatic organisms. The concentrations detected in surface waters in Minnesota are far below levels where effects have been observed.
  • Does not bioaccumulate, so secondary poisoning to wildlife eating aquatic organisms is unlikely.
  • Has the potential to accumulate persist in sediment. It has been detected in sediment in Minnesota, but there are no toxicity studies that evaluate the risk to sediment-dwelling aquatic life at the levels observed.
  • Moderately volatile and is persistent in air, so long-range atmospheric transport of this contaminant is a concern.

Toxic mode of action

The mode of action of toxicity due to PFHxS exposure in aquatic life is unknown.

Relevant media for monitoring

Water

Are there seasonal considerations for monitoring?

No. PFHxS is a widely used chemical and is persistent, so it is likely to be found in water and tissue year-round.

Important degradates

Degradates have not been identified. PFHxS is very persistent and may have limited degradation.

Recommendations

Because this contaminant is persistent, continued monitoring of PFHxS is recommended.

 

Publication Date: 
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Author: 
Laura Lyle

Full profile

Detailed worksheet of aquatic toxicity for this chemical: