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What is PFAS?

What is PFAS?
March 20, 2019 GLN Editor

It’s a curious acronym — PFAS — and it stands for a family of chemicals that’s in most homes and being detected in an increasing number of people’s water systems in Michigan and other states and provinces.

Short for per- or polyfluoroalkyl, these industrial chemicals have been linked to fertility issues, high cholesterol, thyroid and liver problems, and certain cancers. And from where they’re used in our waterproof clothing, non-stick cookware, food packaging, and industrial waste, they’ve moved into our home water supplies, our wells, and our communities’ water systems. They’ve also been detected in the Great Lakes.

Once they’re in people’s systems and the environment, they stay there for a long time. Research is only beginning to determine the health effects and what, if any, treatment there might be.

Click on the player to watch a 1-minute explanation of the PFAS chemicals.

Have a question about the PFAS chemicals and how they relate to your health, safety or water supply?

Ask Great Lakes Now your PFAS question. If we can answer it, we might loop it into our coverage so others can learn too.

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