Both PFOS and PFOA are man-made and not found naturally in the environment. When talking about them together, they’re generally referred to as “PFAS”. More than 80 different compounds fall into this category.
• Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)
• Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
PFAS came into common use in the 1940s and was once thought beneficial because of the ability to repel fire, water, oil, and stains. They’ve been used in stain- and water-resistant fabrics, non-stick products, polishes, pizza boxes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire fighting foams.
They don't go away and have earned the nickname "the Forever Chemical".
Even small amounts can accumulate in your body over time. PFAS water contamination is often found in areas with proximity to a specific facility.
GenX chemicals are used as replacements for PFAS. However, this new generation of chemicals has been found to cause many of the same health problems as PFAS. In recent history, GenX was released into the Cape Fear River, the drinking water source for Wilmington, North Carolina, affecting more than a half-million residents.