chemical Class

Perfluorinated sulfonate

Chemicals in the class:

PFBS (Perfluorobutane sulfonate), PFHS, PFHxS (Perfluorohexanesulfonate), PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonate)

Found in these people:

Anonymous Adult 9, Anonymous Adult 20, Jean Salone, Jennifer Hill-Kelley, Dr. Beverly Wright, Vivian Chang, Adult B, Adult #108, Baby #1, Baby #2, Baby #3, Baby #4, Baby #5, Baby #6, Baby #7, Baby #8, Baby #9, Baby #10, Anonymous Adult 1, Kathy Fowler, U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter, Participant #2, Participant #8, Kelsey Wirth, Michael Goodstein, Margie Roswell, Nina Damato, Nora Pouillon, Stephanie Berger, Nicholas, Cord Blood Sample 16, Cord Blood Sample 18, Cord Blood Sample 19, Baby B, Participant #1, Participant #10, Fred Gellert, Adelaide Gomer, Ann Hunter-Welborn, Jesse Johnson, Winsome McIntosh, Judi Shils, Participant #18, Lynde Uihlein, Participant #2, Participant #20, Alicia Wittink, Irene Crowe, Martha Davis, Emily Sayrs, Participant #6, Anonymous Adult RN7, Anonymous Teen 22, Anonymous Adult RN9, Anonymous Adult, Anonymous Adult 2, Anonymous Adult 3, Anonymous Adult 5, Anonymous Adult 4, Anonymous Adult 6, Anonymous Adult 7, Anonymous Teen 1, Anonymous Adult 12, Anonymous Adult 13, Anonymous Adult 11, Anonymous Adult 14, Anonymous Adult 15, Anonymous Adult 16, Anonymous Adult 17, Anonymous Adult 18, Anonymous Adult 21, Suzie Canales, Sara Corbett, Cord Blood Sample 11, Cord Blood Sample 12, Cord Blood Sample 13, Cord Blood Sample 14, Cord Blood Sample 15, Cord Blood Sample 17, Cord Blood Sample 20, Jessica Welborn, Anonymous Adult 10

Found in these locations:

Atlanta, GA; Fallbrook, CA; Corpus Christi, TX; Green Bay, WI; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Rockville, MD; Upstate New York, NY; Silver Spring, MD; Washington, DC; Cambridge, MA; Bethesda, MD; Baltimore, MD; NY, USA; CA, USA; Belvedere, CA; Ithaca, NY; Encinitas, CA; Ross, CA; VA, USA; Milwaukee, WI; CO, USA; Littleton, CO; MD, USA; Chicago, IL; Newton, MA; Fredericksburg, VA; Lamont, FL; Mountain View, CA; Stanford, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Berkeley, CA; San Francisco, CA; Alamo, CA


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).

Perfluorinated sulfonate

Perfluorinated sulfonate has been found in 88 of the 88 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Top health concerns for Perfluorinated sulfonate (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Birth defects and developmental delayslimited

Other health concerns for Perfluorinated sulfonate (References)

health concern or target organ weight of evidence
Biochemical effectsunknown
Hematologic (blood) systemunknown

Toxicity Classifications (References)

classification governing entity/references
Biochemical effects - weight of evidence unknown/unassessed3M (1999). Report of data for exploratory 28-day oral toxicity study in rats: telomer alcohol, telomer acrylate, [(CBI)], PFHS, PFOS. NOTOX project number 242933. Report prepared for 3M, St. Paul, MN by 3M Environmental Laboratory Fluorine Analytical Chemistry Team (FACT). Study No. FACT-TOX-120.3; NOTOX#24933 U.S. EPA Administrative Records AR226-0951 (metabolites) and AR226-1030a.
Cancer - limited evidence of carcinogenicityOther peer reviewed studies
Developmental toxicant - limited evidenceEPA (2000). Email message from Charles Auer (US Environmental Protection Agency) to OECD. U.S. EPA Administrative Record AR226-0629.
Hematologic system toxicity - weight of evidence unknown/unassessedEPA (2000). Email message from Charles Auer (US Environmental Protection Agency) to OECD. U.S. EPA Administrative Record AR226-0629.