EPA is committed to providing meaningful, understandable, and actionable information on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – known as PFAS – to the American public. The information provided here is intended to explain some of the important background information needed to understand the details of specific actions EPA takes to address PFAS, and other emerging events related to PFAS.
Learn more about different aspects of PFAS on the following pages:
PFAS are widely used, long lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time.
Because of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, many PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment.
PFAS are found in water, air, fish, and soil at locations across the nation and the globe.
Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals.
There are thousands of PFAS chemicals, and they are found in many different consumer, commercial, and industrial products. This makes it challenging to study and assess the potential human health and environmental risks.