chemical information
Chemical Class:

Perfluorochemical (PFC)

Chemical SubClass

Perfluorinated sulfonate

Found in these people:

not found

Found in these locations:

not found


PFCs are industrial chemicals widely used as water, stain and grease repellants for food wrap, carpet, furniture, and clothing. The family includes such well known name brands as Scotchgard and Teflon. PFCs are also released to the environment in air and water emissions at numerous manufacturing and processing facilities worldwide, including primary production sites such as DuPont's Washington Works facility, WV; 3M's Cottage Grove, MN site, and Daikin's Decatur, AL plant. PFCs are likely also released to the environment at countless secondary manufacturing facilities, including sites where consumer products are coated for water, stain, and grease repellency. But the dominant source of PFCs to the environment are likely fluorotelomer chemicals, the active ingredients in coatings of furniture, clothing, food packacking, and other products. Fluorotelomers break down in the environment and in the body to PFCs differing only in the carbon chain length and end group (Dinglasan et al. 2004; Ellis et al. 2004; Hagen et al. 1981). Most PFCs are fairly mobile in water, but due to low volatility of the persistent carboxy acids and sulfonates many do not have the potential to migrate in air far from locations of its release as a manufacturing pollutant. In contrast, studies indicate that PFC telomers are relatively volatile and could migrate long distances through the atmosphere (Ellis et al. 2004; Martin et al. 2004). Fluorotelomers are a likely source of the persistent perfluorochemicals found in newborns in this study, and in wildlife and water in areas remote from manufacturing sites and human populations. Available scientific findings to date show that PFCs widely contaminate human blood (Kannan et al. 2004; Olsen 2002a; Olsen 2002b; Olsen 2002c), that they persist in the body for decades (Burris et al. 2002), that they act through a broad range of toxic mechanisms of action to present potential harm to a wide range of organs (ovaries, liver, kidney, spleen, thymus, thyroid, pituitary, testis), and that they persist indefinitely in the environment with no known biological or environmental breakdown mechanism (3M 2000, 3M 2001a, 3M 2001b, NAS 1972). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has described PFCs as combining "persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity properties to an extraordinary degree" (Auer 2000).


PFHS has been found in 0 of the 0 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Results for PFHS