PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a class of emerging contaminants of concern due to their widespread use and persistence in the environment. They are commonly used in products such as non-stick cookware, stain-resistant textiles, fire-fighting foams, and food packaging. The health effects of exposure to these compounds are not fully understood, but they are believed to be harmful and have been linked to various health issues such as liver damage, developmental problems, and certain cancers. Due to their persistence, they can accumulate in the environment and in humans, leading to concerns about their long-term effects on human health and the environment.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating PFAS in the United States. In recent years, the EPA has taken several actions to address the potential risks posed by PFAS, including the development of a PFAS Action Plan, the establishment of a Drinking Water Health Advisory level for two PFAS compounds (PFOA and PFOS), and the addition of PFAS to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting program. The EPA is also conducting research on the occurrence, sources, and potential impacts of PFAS in the environment, and working to develop methods for detecting and removing PFAS from drinking water. Despite these efforts, there is still much that is unknown about the health effects of PFAS and the best ways to manage them, and the EPA continues to work with other federal agencies, states, tribes, and stakeholders to address this emerging challenge. Additional information is available from the EPA https://www.epa.gov/pfas