Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of man-made chemicals that include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFAS have been used globally during the past century in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of common household and other consumer products such as but not limited to:
PFAS chemicals are persistent in the environment and in the human body - meaning they don't break down and they can accumulate over time. In recent years, experts have become increasingly concerned by the potential effects of high concentrations of PFAS on human health. PFAS move easily through the ground and may get into groundwater that is used for some water supplies or for private drinking water wells. When spilled into lakes or rivers used as sources of drinking water, they can get into drinking water supplies.
Approximately 75% of Michigan residents get water from a public water supply and approximately 25% are on private wells.
What is PFAS and why are some communities affected more than others by it?
To answer these questions and more, watch this video for an animation of how PFAS gets into our environment.