What are PFAS?

putting oil in pan

PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a large group of human-made chemicals. They can affect your health at low levels and can accumulate in your body over time. They’ve been used for over 50 years and are in many everyday products. These chemicals don’t break down easily and are now common in our environment. It’s important to limit your exposure as much as possible to protect your health.

There are thousands of PFAS chemicals

It’s estimated there are between 5,000-14,000 different PFAS chemicals. There is good scientific understanding of only two – PFOA and PFOS. There is another handful that we have limited scientific data on, and that we have standardized tests for. Of the remaining thousands, there is little to no scientific data. Based on what we do know, limiting your exposure to all PFAS can limit impacts to your health.

PFAS are in a lot of products

Because of their chemical structure, PFAS have many useful properties. They’re durable and resist water, grease, fire, heat, and oil. This means they can be used in products used to prepare or eat foods, like non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, and microwave popcorn bags. They’re also used in products like rain gear, stain proof or resistant carpets and even makeup!

Learn more about how PFAS affect health and how to reduce your exposure to them.

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