What are PFAS?
Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)1 are a group of manmade fluorinated compounds which are used for a variety of applications by both industry and residential households. PFAS have been in commercial use since the 1940’s and are abundant in today’s society. These chemicals are widely in use because of their exceptional resistance to heat, water, and oil.
PFAS are found commonly in every American household, and in products as diverse as non-stick cookware, stain resistant furniture and carpets, wrinkle free and water repellant clothing, cosmetics, lubricants, paint, pizza boxes, popcorn bags, and many other everyday products.
1. PFAS is the broader class of chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, and many others.
Why are we concerned?
These chemicals persist in the environment — meaning they are slow to breakdown and, so, remain chemically active. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. These concerns require a collaborative and scientifically driven response by legislators, regulators, and drinking water, wastewater, and solid waste agencies to manage PFAS holistically.
Drinking water treatment systems, water resource recovery facilities, and municipal solid waste landfills are not “producers” or users of PFAS, and none of these essential public service providers utilize or profit from PFAS chemicals. However, we believe in our collective mission to ensure safe drinking water, wastewater treatment, and sanitation services. To that end, we support actions and regulations intended to ensure delivery of those services as long as they are based on credible science and developed after due deliberation.
The following information and the factsheet below provide more information on different aspects of PFAS.