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Environmental fate & pathways

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TFE is normally manufactured in a closed system. TFE vapours from vented equipment and tanks are destroyed by thermal oxidation. The use of TFE in fluoropolymer synthesis, nitroso-rubbers and low molecular mass compounded intermediates may result in its release to the environment through various waste streams.

In TFE-based polymer powders or granules, residual TFE monomer is not detectable (limit of detection 0.01 - 1 mg/kg). Due to its water solubility (110 mg/l) TFE monomer is always present in aqueous polymer dispersions at concentrations up to 1mg/kg, typically around 0.5mg/kg.

No residual TFE monomer (analytical detection limit 0.05 - 0.01 mg/kg) was found in PTFE at temperatures below 260°C, the maximum recommended "continuous service temperature".

No TFE (residual monomer) has been detected in products or articles made from TFE-based polymer.

The theoretical distribution of TFE into different environmental compartments has been estimated using the Mackay Level 1 fugacity model (Mackay and Paterson, 1981) and physico-chemical parameters.After equilibrium, practically all TFE released into the environment will be found in the air (99.99%). The amounts in water, soil and sediment are negligible.