Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)

Chemical structure of an example PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Example PFAS: Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
CAS Number: various

The group "perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)" includes perfluorochemicals (PFCs). See the current list of designated chemicals for other example chemicals in the group PFASs.


Fact Sheet

PFCs are found in

  • Some foods, such as some red meat and packaged snacks like potato chips.  It is not yet known which foods might regularly contain PFCs.
  • Certain grease-repellent paper food containers, such as some microwave popcorn bags, take-out boxes, or fast-food wrappers.
  • Stain-resistant carpets and some carpet cleaning solutions.
  • Stain-, water-, and wrinkle-resistant fabrics and some stain- and water-repellent sprays.
  • Most non-stick cookware.

Possible health concerns of PFCs

Scientists are still studying how PFCs might affect people’s health.  There is concern that some PFCs:

  • May affect the developing fetus and child, including possible changes in growth, learning, and behavior.
  • May decrease fertility and interfere with the body's natural hormones.
  • May affect the immune system.
  • May increase cancer risk.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to PFCs

Scientists are not sure how best to reduce exposure to PFCs. However, you can:

  • Limit how often you eat foods from grease-repellent paper containers.
  • Avoid buying stain-resistant carpets.
  • Avoid buying products labeled stain-resistant, water-resistant, or wrinkle-free, such as some fabrics, furniture, or clothes.
  • Avoid using sprays and carpet cleaning solutions that contain PFCs.
  • Because PFCs can come out of products and collect in dust, wash your hands often, especially before eating and preparing food, clean your floors regularly, and use a damp cloth to dust.

For More Information: 

Biomonitoring California Information

Projects measuring Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)

Documents, Presentations, and Publications: 

  • Potential Designated Chemicals: Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) | Scientific document | 03/03/2015: PotenDesigPFASs_031315.pdf
  • Presentation: Potential Designated Chemicals: Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) | Presentation | 03/13/2015: PFASs_031315.pdf
  • Potential Priority Chemicals: Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) | Scientific document | 11/04/2015: PotentialPriority_PFASs_111815.pdf
  • Presentation: Potential Priority Chemicals: ortho-Phthalates and PFASs | Presentation | 11/18/2015: PotentialPriorityChems111815.pdf

Chemicals in this group

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