While PFOS, PFOA and other PFAS were not manufactured in Australia, some are still in use. PFOS and its related compounds are currently imported into Australia, mainly for industrial and chemical manufacturing uses such as mist suppressants and coatings. PFOS, PFOA and other PFAS are present in some types of firefighting foams to improve the foam’s ability to smother fires. PFOS and PFOA may be present in a range of imported consumer products, although many countries have phased out, or are progressively phasing out, the use of PFOS and PFOA. The phase-out has resulted in these two chemicals being substituted by other PFAS.

Australia ratified the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants on 20 May 2004 and became a Party on 18 August 2004. The Convention is a global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the effects of persistent organic pollutants. PFOS, its salts and PFOS-related chemicals are listed in the Stockholm Convention. The Commonwealth Government is considering whether to ratify this listing, and whether Australia will accept international standards for the management of these chemicals. Further information can be found on the Commonwealth Government’s website.

The Australian Government’s National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) reviewed the use of PFAS in Australia and provided updates to its alerts regarding these chemicals. 

The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS) replaced NICNAS on 1 July 2020. Further information about the transition from NICNAS to AICIS is available online. AICIS regulates the manufacture and importation of PFAS.

Read next

About PFAS

PFAS and EPA's role

PFAS in the environment

PFAS and health

PFAS and waste

PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP)


This page was copied from EPA's old website. It was last updated on 20 May 2020.

Reviewed 19 October 2021