Elevated Levels of Ultrashort- and Short-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Acids in US Homes and People

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) make up a large group of fluorinated organic compounds extensively used in consumer products and industrial applications. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the two perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) with 8 carbons in their structure, have been phased out on a global scale because of their high environmental persistence and toxicity. As a result, shorter-chain PFAAs with less than 8 carbons in their structure are being used as their replacements and are now widely detected in the environment, raising concerns about their effects on human health. In this study, 47 PFAAs and their precursors were measured in paired samples of dust and drinking water collected from residential homes in Indiana, United States, and in blood and urine samples collected from the residents of these homes. Read more about JPB Fellow Stephanie Eick’s research.