Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is a common term for a group of human-made chemicals found in everyday products. PFAS were originally created in the 1940s and are resistant to water, grease and stains. They are found in everyday items such as carpet, clothing, cookware, food wrappers and furniture. They are also used in some firefighting foams that are being phased out of use.
PFAS chemicals take a long time to break down and are thus persistent in the environment. Humans can be exposed to these chemicals through a variety of pathways, including eating food contaminated with PFAS, using products made with PFAS, drinking water that contains PFAS and breathing air containing PFAS. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found associations between exposure to some PFAS chemicals and human health.