Perfluorochemicals (PFCs)

Black and white chemical structure of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
Structure of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
CAS Number: various

PFCs are used to make various products resistant to oil, stains, grease, and water. These chemicals are very long lasting and have spread through the environment.

Download: 
PFASsFactSheet.pdf

Fact Sheet

PFASs are found in:

  • Some food, such as:
    • Some meat and seafood, because some PFASs in the environment can accumulate in animals, fish, and shellfish.
    • Some vegetables grown with water that contains PFASs.
    • Food in certain grease-repellent packaging, including some fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out boxes, and cardboard containers for frozen foods.
  • Some textiles, such as stain-resistant carpets, water-repellent outdoor fabrics, and leather.
  • Certain stain- and water-repellent sprays; sealants for granite and other natural stone tiles or countertops; cleaning products; lubricants; polishes; and waxes.
  • Some personal care products, such as some skin creams, eye makeup, and dental floss.
  • Some nonstick cookware.
  • Drinking water sources affected by releases of PFASs into the environment.

Possible health concerns of some PFASs:

  • May harm the fetus and child, including effects on growth and development.
  • May affect the immune system and liver function.
  • May increase the risk of thyroid disease.
  • May interfere with the body’s natural hormones.
  • May increase cancer risk.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to PFASs:

  • Include plenty of variety in your and your child’s diet, and limit how often you eat foods in grease-repellent wrappers and containers.
  • Avoid products labeled as stain- or water-resistant, such as carpets, furniture, and clothing.
  • Check labels of household and personal care products, and avoid those with “fluoro” ingredients. Contact the manufacturer if you can’t find the ingredients on the label.
  • If you choose to use protective sprays, sealants, polishes, waxes, or similar products, make sure you have enough ventilation and follow other safety precautions.
  • Because PFASs can come out of products and collect in dust:
    • Wash your and your child’s hands often, especially before preparing or eating food.
    • Clean floors regularly, using a wet mop or HEPA vacuum if possible, and use a damp cloth to dust.

 

Biomonitoring California Information

Documents, Presentations, and Publications: 

  • Potential Designated Chemicals: Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) | Scientific document | 03/03/2015: PotenDesigPFASs_031315.pdf
  • Presentation: Potential Designated Chemicals: Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) | Presentation | 03/13/2015: PFASs_031315.pdf

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