If you are processing environmental samples then you’ve probably dealt with contamination at some point. If you haven’t, then you should be congratulated for creating the only laboratory on Earth that has ever been completely free of all sources of contamination!
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of harmful organic compounds that are very persistent in structure. What this means is PFAS compounds accumulate in the environment over time as they do not break down easily. This makes it a concern to regulate and test these compounds as they have been shown to have adverse effects. One of the most common ways that someone would come in contact with PFAS is through drinking water.