Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and Your Health

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Human exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is a public health concern that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are helping our local, territorial, tribal, state, and federal partners address.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. They have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.

PFAS are man-made, so there are no natural sources in the environment. However, PFAS can be found near areas where they are manufactured or where products containing PFAS are often used. PFAS can travel long distances, move through soil, seep into groundwater, or be carried through air.

Free resources for clinicians and environmental health professionals, including health assessors.

Page last reviewed: November 26, 2018