Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made substances that do not occur naturally in the environment and are resistant to heat, water, and oil. PFAS have been used extensively in surface coating and protectant formulations due to their unique ability to reduce the surface tension of liquids. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are two types of PFAS that are no longer manufactured or imported into the United States; however, there could be some imported goods containing trace amounts of these substances.
PFAS are persistent in the environment and can accumulate within the human body over time. Exposure to unsafe levels of PFOA/PFOS may result in adverse health effects including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy, cancer, liver effects, immune effects, thyroid effects, and other effects (such as cholesterol changes). PFOA and PFOS were found in the blood of nearly all people tested in several national surveys. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), blood levels of both PFOS and PFOA have steadily decreased in U.S. residents since 1999-2000.