If you’ve been in the environmental arena as long as I have, seeing a “chemistry” term on the nightly news in conjunction with pollution is usually nothing to worry too much about. Sure, it’s an indicator that something bad has happened locally, but usually the news is a bit more…wild, than it needs to be and everything turns out just fine. After all, sensationalism is what gets the viewers!
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.