Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): What Consumers Need to Know
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AbstractWhat are PFAS? Perfluoralkyl and Polyflouroalkyl Substances, also known as ‘PFAS’, are a group of stable, man-made chemical compounds that have been used worldwide since the 1940s for industrial applications and consumer products. They repel water, oil, grease, and heat and are therefore commonly used to make waterproof and protective coatings, including non-stick cookware and stain resistant carpeting. The PFAS class covers a wide range of compounds, including Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) as well as newer GenX chemicals which are currently being used in the place of PFOS and PFOA since being phased out by U.S. manufacturing. A defining feature of PFAS is its strong chemical structure due to bonds between arbon (C) and fluorine (F) atoms (Figure 1). These bonds represent some of the strongest bonds in chemistry and therefore can remain for long periods in the environment, in wildlife, and also in people.
Series/Report no.University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Publication AZ1794
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