Recently, greater numbers of people have learned about the existence of so-called “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Over the years, PFAS have become widespread in the environment — including water supplies around the world.
PFAS are synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds that break down very slowly over time and have become so prevalent that they are showing up in the blood of both animals and people. They are also present at low levels in the environment and food products. PFAS are being found in everything from water, soil, and the air we breathe to people and animals. Recent studies have also linked it to harmful health effects in humans.
There are thousands of PFAS chemicals worldwide, and they are used in various commercial and industrial products. Their general usage, in fact, is making it difficult to study their potential health and environmental risks, and we are still working to understand the full effect of forever chemicals and what they might mean to the health of humans and the environment for the long term.