Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large class of thousands of synthetic chemicals that are used throughout society. They contain carbon-fluorine bonds, which are one of the strongest chemical bonds in organic chemistry. This means that they resist degradation when used and also in the environment. Most PFAS are also easily transported in the environment covering long distances away from the source of their release.
In the late 1940s and 50s, many chemical companies turned their attention to refocus their businesses on developing products. Their innovations ranged from plastics, laminates, and coated papers to synthetic fabrics, cleaners, pesticides, and countless other manmade products, which were created through chemicals usage known as PFAS. At the beginning, PFAS chemicals is for fabrics, papers, cardboard, and boards stain-resistant, water-resistant, and oil-repellant production. Only decades later did we begin to realize the price we were paying for these modern conveniences.
Two of the most commonly used and highly studied PFAS are PerFluoroOctanoic Acid (PFOA) and PerFluoroOctane Sulfonate (PFOS). In recent years, these chemicals were designated as hazardous substances by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).