Question: I recently received a request for information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in products. I'm not familiar with these substances. What are they, and what kinds of products are they likely to be found in?
- Contaminants in fluoropolymers (e.g. PTFE/Teflon® resin, ePTFE/Gore-Tex® membrane, etc.). Potential uses or applications include:
- Electrical insulation.
- High-temperature coatings.
- Non-reactive lubricants.
- Medical implants.
- Chemical-resistant analytic equipment (magnetic stir bars, tissue grinders, stoppers).
- Oxygen sensor and related “breathable” membranes.
- Oilfield (downhole/fracking) polymers.
- Intentionally added surfactants, oil/water/stain repellents, used on or in:
- Clothing and footwear.
- Seat covers, chairs, sofas, etc.
- Cosmetics (e.g. lip gloss).
- Fast food packaging.
- Hydrophobic surface coatings.
- Oleophobic or lipophobic surface coatings.
- Firefighting foams.
For more information, see EU REACH and PFOA.
This article is current as of August 2021.