PFAS Fact Sheets

Chemical Structures Fact Sheet

PFASs comprise a large group of chemicals that are both chemically and thermally stable and are both lipophobic (have no affinity for oils) and hydrophobic (have no affinity for water), making them useful as surfactants for polymer manufacturing. PFASs are composed of two main parts; one that is formed out of a hydrophobic alkyl chain as well as a hydrophilic functional group.

Drinking Water Health Advisory Standards Fact Sheet

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the U.S. EPA to publish a list of unregulated contaminants every 5 years that are not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulations, are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems (PWSs), and might require regulation under SDWA. These are reported under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), of which the newest was released after a monitoring period beginning in January 2013, ending in December of 2015.

Aqueous Fire Fighting Foams Fact Sheet

PFOS has historically found a strong market in film foam firefighting formulations. In 1966 AFFF became the preferred method for extinguishing liquid hydrocarbon fires. By 1969, the market application was well underway as the Department of Defense (DOD) issued military specification Mil-F-24385, which includes the requirements for AFFF liquid concentrate fire extinguishing agents consisting of PFOS.

Health Risk Studies on PFOS Fact Sheet

The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals included exposure data for PFOS from 2003 to 2004 collected by NHANES. PFOS was detected in 99.9% of the general US population. The data suggest that PFOS concentrations in human serum in the US declined between 1999 and 2010. During this time, there has been a major reduction in environmental emissions by the manufacturers as well as a phase-out of production of C8 compounds in the United States.

Articles of Commerce Containing PFAS Fact Sheet

A published U.S.EPA study documents elevated levels of PFCAs (perfluorocarboxylic acids) in household dust, suggesting the presence of indoor sources of these compounds. Professional carpet-care liquids, treated carpeting, treated floor waxes and sealants, and treated home textile products and upholstery are likely the most important PFCA sources in non-occupational indoor environments.

Public Water Supply and PFAS Fact Sheet

Of the more than 36,000 monitoring results from the UCMR3, about 1% of the sampling results showed measured values above the minimum detection limit for PFAS. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), PFAS accumulates and remains in the human body, and the amount reduces very slowly over time. Scientists and medical professionals are concerned about the effects of these chemicals on human health and the lack of comprehensive health risk studies.

PFOS in Water Fact Sheet

PFOS has been found in surface and ground waters and concentrations have been reported both in marine and aquatic water basins worldwide. PFOS is characterized by a relatively high water solubility, despite the hydrophobic tail. The majority of PFOS from contaminated soils will be transported to groundwater and surface water bodies.

Water Treatment Technologies Fact Sheet

Water systems that need to handle PFNA, PFOA, or PFOS contamination have to be thoroughly evaluated on a site-by-site basis. The costs of different treatment options will vary depending on the availability and proximity of alternate sources and site specific conditions, including the composition and nature of ground and waste waters.

Activated Carbon Fact Sheet

Granular activated carbon’s capacity for organic removal is derived from its very high surface area. A single gram of GAC can have an astounding surface area exceeding 1000 m2. A pound of activated carbon has more than 35 acres of surface area which is equivalent to about 100 football fields.

Properties of Perfluorooctanoic Acid, Its Salts, and Its Precursors Fact Sheet

PFOA has a chain length of eight carbons, seven of which are perfluorinated. It belongs to the broad class of chemicals known as perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs), which, in turn, belong to the broader class of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyls (PFAs). The term "PFOA" may refer to the acid, its conjugate base or its principal salt forms. The term PFOA is not interchangeable with commercial mixtures containing PFOA, as these mixtures are often not well characterized and could include any product that contains even a small amount of PFOA. PFOA may also be referred to as C8, as well as by other synonyms or trade names. The most common commercially used salt form of PFOA is the ammonium salt, referred to as APFO.