PFAS is a large, complex, and growing group of manufacturing chemicals that are widely used in the manufacture of a wide variety of everyday products. For example, it prevents food from sticking to cookware, makes clothes and carpets stain-resistant, and makes the fire-resistant foam more effective. PFAS are used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, and the military.
The PFAS molecule consists of a linked chain of carbon and fluorine atoms. Since the carbon-fluorine bond is one of the strongest, this chemical does not decompose in the environment. Scientists cannot estimate the half-life of PFAS in the environment, e.g the time it takes 50% of the chemical to dissipate. If you want to learn more about what are pfas chemical visit https://www.watercontaminationlawsuits.com/pfas-water-lawsuit-faqs.asp.
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Research on the two types of PFAS forms the basis of our scientific understanding of this group of chemicals. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are the longest produced, most widely distributed in the environment and best studied. Although these two compounds are no longer produced in the United States, chemical manufacturers have replaced them with alternative PFAS such as GenX.
Why worry about PFAS?
Concerns about the impact of PFAS on public health have arisen for the following reasons:
- Widespread phenomenon. Studies have found PFAS in human blood and urine, and scientists want to know if they cause health problems.
- Lots of exposure. PFAS is used in hundreds of products worldwide with many opportunities for human exposure.
- Number Up. There are more than 4,700 PFAS and the number continues to increase as new forms of this type of chemical are discovered.2
- Continuous. PFAS survive in the environment indefinitely and can take years to leave the body.