Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFAS) including Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid refer to a group of synthetic compounds containing thousands of chemicals formed from fluorinated PFOA and PFOS and are fluorinated organic chemicals that are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).
PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. They have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., cookware) that are resistant to water, grease or stains. They are also used for firefighting at airfields and in a number of industrial processes. Scientists have found PFOA and PFOS in the blood of nearly all the people they tested. Drinking water is a source in the small percentage of communities where these chemicals have contaminated water supplies close to airfield at which they were used for firefighting.