PFAS Information Center
What are PFAS?
PFAS consist of a large group of fluorinated polymers used in many commercial and industrial products. This includes any of the Teflon® polymers used in common household products like your frying pan, PTFE plumber’s tape, your Goretex-lined rain coat, or the water/stain resistant coating on your carpet or couch. One of the primary concerns for these polymers relates to Aqueous Fire Fighting Foams (known as AFFF, AF3, or A triple F). The Department of Defense (DOD) has used these foams to fight/control fires at air bases and also used in fire training. Many commercial airports and some municipal fire departments have also used AFFF. These fire-fighting foams contain several of the PFAS polymers, including PFOA and PFOS
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a Health Advisory Level for PFOA + PFOS at 70 parts per trillion – yes, parts per trillion. This advisory level is about 100 times lower than any previous maximum contaminant level set by the EPA. This means that the potential for cross contamination of samples by commonly used products during field sampling becomes a significant concern. These products range from the Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks, to Tyvek suits, sunscreen, bug spray, Teflon® liners of many sample bottle caps, and more.
The following links provide more information on current PFAS topics:
EPA 37 Field Sampling Guidelines:
California State Water Quality Control Board Sampling Guidelines:
EPA PFAS methods and guidance for sampling and analyzing water and other environmental media:
EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS:
PFAS Fact Sheets: