PFAS Overview

PFAS has become THE hot topic in remediation. We’ve dedicated this section of our site to it.

PFAS are a family of man-made chemicals that contain a chain of carbon atoms, fully or partially fluorinated. This group comprises thousands of different compounds, but the most commonly studied are PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) due to their widespread use and persistence.

PFAS have been manufactured and used in various industries globally since the 1940s. They were celebrated for their resistance to water, heat, and oil, leading to their incorporation in a wide array of products and applications.

Common Sources and Uses of PFAS

PFAS chemicals are incredibly versatile, which has led to their use in numerous everyday products. They’re found in non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, water-repellent outdoor gear, food packaging materials, and even some types of firefighting foam. Their unique properties also made them attractive for use in various industrial processes, such as chrome plating and electronics manufacturing.

The Persistence and Mobility of PFAS

One of the key characteristics of PFAS is their persistence. Due to the strength of the carbon-fluorine bond, PFAS resist degradation in the environment, earning them the nickname “forever chemicals.” This persistence, coupled with their high mobility in water, means that once released into the environment, PFAS can travel far from their source and persist for a very long time.

Health and Environmental Impacts

There’s growing concern about the potential health effects of PFAS exposure. Studies suggest that certain PFAS may affect reproduction and development, interfere with hormones, cholesterol levels, and the immune system, and increase the risk of some cancers.

From an environmental perspective, PFAS pose a significant threat to ecosystems. Due to their resistance to degradation and ability to bioaccumulate, PFAS can build up in organisms over time, disrupting natural processes and threatening biodiversity.

Understanding PFAS is the first step in addressing the challenges they present. As we continue to investigate these persistent chemicals, we can develop better strategies to manage their use, minimize their release, and remediate their impact on our health and the environment.

Let’s Start Remediating

There are two ways to get started:

  1. Call to discuss your project and specific needs 866.727.4776 x704
  2. Email site assessment documents for review Contact Hepure Remediation Services


Figure 1: Plume Flow Through PRB

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