Q & A - What Is The PFAS Meaning?

PFAS stands for Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The PFAS meaning refers to a group of different man-made chemicals that contain carbon, fluorine, and other elements. 

There are nearly 5,000 types of PFAS, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others. Because these chemicals resist heat, water and oil they are used as the raw materials for the production of grease-proof, stain-proof and water-proof items. 

Products like food packaging, stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products, leather, outdoor clothing,  polishes, waxes, paints and cleaning products all contain types of PFAS. Oil of Olay even includes it in some of their wrinkle creams!

And it also means that this group of compounds, nicknamed "The Forever Chemicals" don't degrade easily. So they persist in the environment and in you.

Because PFAS stays in your body for long periods of time, exposure can really damage your health. For ways to reduce your exposure check out PFAS - What It Is and How to Avoid It

And to find out if PFAS is in your drinking water read How To Find Out If You're Drinking Contaminated Water

                                   Examples of PFAS

Abbreviation                                                         Chemical name

PFOS                                                         Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid

PFOA (aka C8)                                          Perfluorooctanoic acid

PFNA                                                         Perfluorononanoic acid

PFDA                                                         Perfluorodecanoic acid

PFOSA (aka FOSA)                                   Perfluorooctane sulfonaminde

MeFOSAA (aka Me-PFOSA-AcOH)         2-(N-Methyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido) acetic acid

Et-FOSAA (aka Et-PFOSA-AcOH)            2-(N-Ethyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamido acetic acid

PFHxS                                                       Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid