Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have been produced for industrial and consumer products since the 1940's. PFAS were developed for their various manufacturing characteristics, including temperature control, non-stick qualities, and low degradation. While there are thousands of different PFAS, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) are the most commonly produced chemicals in the group. Because of their chemical composition, many PFAS do not break down in the natural environment, and in turn, build up in surface water and groundwater, air, and soil. Humans can be exposed to PFAS and face associated health risks by drinking contaminated water, inhaling certain dusts or soil, or using products that have been made with PFAS or have been packaged with PFAS-containing materials.
Check out the following materials and resources below to learn how you can reduce your exposure to PFAS and explore ways that the Commonwealth is taking steps to address the chemicals in the environment and drinking water.