Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, are a class of up to 10,000 human-made fluorinated organic chemicals. The chemicals can be found in food, drinking water, living organisms and a wide range of consumer and industry products, including water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, pizza boxes, cleaning products, paints and firefighting foams. Due to their resistance to grease, oil, water, and heat, inability to break down over time and tendency to accumulate in the environment and humans, they are also known as “forever chemicals.”

In 2018, the federal government published a comprehensive and controversial toxicology review of perfluoroalkyls chemicals and their human health effects, upending previous federally accepted standards for exposure to PFAS. Epidemiological studies link exposure to PFAS to adverse health effects. State governments have often moved faster than the federal government to regulate PFAS substances. Recent lawsuits from state lawmakers allege PFAS manufacturers, primarily 3M, DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva are responsible for PFAS contamination of local drinking water in several states.

Illustrations by Saloni Kothari

Read more about PFAS

Image of a woman drinking water representing PFAS contaminated drinking water.

How Many Types of PFAS Exist?

MedTruth Editors · October 12, 2021

While PFOA and PFOS have been well documented as harmful, many companies are switching to a new PFAS chemical: GenX.

Health Features
Image of carpet manufacturing representing the Georgia PFAS lawsuits.

PFAS Lawsuits Centered in Georgia Have N...

MedTruth Editors · October 6, 2021

Last week, a federal judge in Georgia issued a ruling on one of the cases that could affect PFAS litigation throughout the nation.

Legal Developments
Image of a lighthouse in Maine representing the PFAS ban.

Maine To Ban Products With PFAS Chemicals

MedTruth Editors · September 13, 2021

Maine’s law will forbid the sale of products with PFAS chemicals.