Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances

Class of perfluorinated chemical compounds

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of synthetic organofluorine chemical compounds that have multiple fluorine atoms attached to an alkyl chain. The PubChem database lists more than 6 million unique compounds in this group. PFASs started being used in the mid-20th century to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. They are used in a variety of products including waterproof clothing, furniture, adhesives, food packaging, heat-resistant non-stick cooking surfaces, and the insulation of electrical wire. They have played a key economic role for companies such as DuPont, 3M, and W. L. Gore & Associates that use them to produce widely known materials such as Teflon or Gore-Tex.

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