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Written by Dr. Tomotaroh Granzier-Nakajima
Published on October 3, 2022
Research Highlights

PFAS are used to make everyday products that resist heat, water, oil, grease, and other stains.

Because they do not break down easily, PFAS levels in humans can build up over time.

Human PFAS exposure can have negative health impacts, such as high cholesterol and cancer.

However, additional research is needed to understand the connections between PFAS exposure and human health.

Find the full list of references used here.

What are the health impacts of PFAS exposure?

Poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are commonly used chemicals that can build up in human bodies.

PFAS are a group of over 9,000 chemicals commonly used to (ATSDR, 2019; EPA 2022):

  • prevent sticking in food packaging and nonstick cookware
  • make carpets, sofas, clothes, and mattresses more stain resistant
  • control and put out fires as a component of firefighting foam

They are also used in the aerospace, automotive, and construction industries. September 27, 2022 Legislative Science Note PFAS in landfills can leak into the soil and enter groundwater. These chemicals are not filtered out by traditional water treatments (EPA, 2021).

PFAS can also be released into the air when burned (DOH, 2022).

PFAS are often called ‘forever chemicals’ because they break down very slowly over time, which allows them to build up in people’s bodies and the environment (AAAS, 2022).

Certain levels PFAS exposure can have negative health consequences.

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