See my earlier post about this. Looks like the EPA did want the companies to phaseout not just the PFOA, but the precursor compouds as well, and according to this article, quite a bit of progress has been made.
Eight companies have pledged to slash releases of several perfluorochemicals at their operations around the world, EPA announced on March 2.
Arkema, Asahi, Ciba, Clariant, Daikin, DuPont, 3M/Dyneon, and Solvay Solexis have agreed to reduce emissions of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its longer chain homologs, and compounds that can degrade into PFOA, EPA said. The companies will also reduce levels of these compounds in their products. Responding to a challenge EPA made in January, the eight firms volunteered to cut industrial releases of PFOA as well as amounts of the chemical in products 95% from 2000 levels by 2010 or earlier. The companies also pledged to work on eliminating releases and content of PFOA in products by 2015.
Here are the individual companies’ commitment letters. They all loudly proclaim their commitment to reduce PFOA levels in their products, not quite so universally unequivocal on the precursors… I need a lawyer to parse some of the language. 3M, for instance, says that they do not “manufacture” the telomers’, which is not the same as saying they do not use them. Solvay Solexis, is extremely straigtforward and agrees to the EPA conditions in a letter actually written in plain English! Dupont, good letter too. Let’s see how this situation plays out, outright elimination in 10 years seems nice, which leads me to believe that the companies are already moving in this direction. The journal article suggests that the residuals are mainly due to inefficiencies in the manufacturing process. The reaction yield is 70%, meaning the 30% left behind from the monomer formation reaction will need to be removed from the product.