PFAS Information

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals including the most commonly discussed ones perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940's. PFOA and PFOS are two of the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals and due to their chemical structure, are very persistent in the environment and in the human body- meaning they take a long time to break down and can accumulate over time. There is evidence that excessive exposure to PFAS can lead to human health effects.


PFAS can be found in:

►           Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.

►           Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).

►           Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS can build up and persist over time.

Certain PFAS chemicals have been phased out of manufacturing in the United States. Although PFOA and PFOS are longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber, and plastics.

(Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency)

Glossary Term: 
What are PFAS?