What are PFAS? Per – and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

PFAS are manmade compounds that have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, electronics, personal hygiene products, and other materials (e.g., cookware) designed to be waterproof, stain-resistant, or non-stick. Of particular interest are four compounds that have notification levels. Perfluorooctanoic Acid, more commonly referred to as PFOA, Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid, or PFOS, Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid or PFBS, and Perfluorohexanesulfonic Acid or PFHxS.

In recent years people have become more familiar with the term PFAS. Although awareness of these manmade chemical compounds is recent, PFAS have been in wide use since the 1940s.

Used in many consumer and industrial products for their ability to repel stains, water, and oil, PFAS are persistent in the environment and do not readily degrade.  They also are prevalent in many items we encounter daily – inside and outside the home. While items imported from outside the United States may contain PFAS, its use is being phased out in the US.  

Show All Answers

1. What are PFAS? Per – and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
2. What are the sources of PFAS?
3. What are the health effects from PFAS?
4. What are California monitoring regulations on PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, and PFHxS?
5. Has ACWD tested its water for PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, or PFHxS?
6. How were tests conducted?
7. How often will ACWD monitor for PFAS?
8. What is ACWD doing about treatment for PFAS?
9. How will customers be updated about future testing results?
10. Where can I find more information?