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Poly- and Per-fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS or PFCs)

Perfluorochemicals (PFC)Poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, formerly PFCs), are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used for decades to manufacture household and commercial products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. PFAS have been used in many consumer products including in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant furniture and carpets, waterproof clothing, microwave popcorn bags, fast food wrappers, pizza boxes, shampoo, and dental floss.

Many PFAS, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) are commonly found in our environment and do not break down easily. PFCs can move through soil, get into groundwater, and be carried through air. Because they are stable chemicals and move so easily in the environment, PFAS have been found far away from where they were made or used. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has tested and found that most people living in the United States have PFCs in their bodies, including PFOS and PFOA, indicating widespread exposure to these PFCs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified PFAS as contaminants of emerging concern because of their widespread use and potential to affect human health.

 

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