Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

PFAS are a large, complex, and ever-expanding group of manufactured compounds that are widely used to make everyday products more resistant to stains, grease, and water. For example, they are used to keep food from sticking to cookware, make clothes and carpets resistant to stains, and create refighting foam that is more effective. PFAS are also used in a variety of other industries, including aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, and military. Because they take so long to break down in the environment, they remain in air, soil, and water, including sources of drinking water, for a long time.

… the research conducted to date reveals possible links between human exposures to PFAS and adverse health outcomes. These include potential effects on metabolism, pregnancy, children’s cognition and neurobehavioral development, and the immune system.

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