Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and thousands of other compounds with at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom. PFAS have been used globally during the past century in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of common household and other consumer products.
PFAS are chemicals that are persistent in the environment (and in the human body) – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. Because PFAS do not fully break down, once in the environment, PFAS will continue to move or 'cycle' through a variety of media including soil, groundwater, surface water and air. PFAS enter surface waters when PFAS containing wastewater is discharged (intentionally or accidentally) from industrial facilities, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. Soil and groundwater contamination can occur in areas that have leaking septic systems or where PFAS-containing fertilizers, such as biosolids, have been applied to gardens and farm lands. The release of PFAS-containing fire fighting foam is also a significant source of soil and groundwater PFAS contamination. Industrial emissions and solid waste incineration may release PFAS to the air, which can then travel long distances before eventually settling back down onto land through a process called 'atmospheric deposition' or through contaminated snow and rainwater. Fish, wildlife, and plants exposed to contaminated water and soil may themselves become contaminated with PFAS. (CT DEEP)
Links to More Information
The webpage links below are to more information about PFAS at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CT Department of Public Health (DPH) and Ct Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)