April 01, 2020

PFAS Gaining Legislative and Regulatory Traction

Patrick J. Paul

In recent years, environmental and toxic tort practitioners have begun to focus on PFAS. The term “PFAS” is the acronym for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which describes a substantial group of synthetic chemicals like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), but also includes many other chemicals, more than 4,000 in total. The most analyzed and “prominent” members of the PFAS chemical family are PFOA and PFOS. These chemicals in particular have been found to be persistent in both the environment and the human body, suggesting that they do not break down in the same manner as other chemicals and leading to their frequent description as “forever chemicals.”

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