Perfluorinated compounds: occurrence and risk profile

Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Oct;29(5):599-608.


Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) such as perfluoro-octane sulphonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are emerging environmental pollutants, arising mainly from their use as surface treatment chemicals, polymerization aids and surfactants. They are ubiquitous, persistent and bioaccumulative in the environment. Perfluorinated compounds are being proposed as a new class of POPs. Although tests in rodents have demonstrated numerous negative effects of PFCs, it is unclear if exposure to perfluorinated compounds may affect human health. This review provides an overview of the recent toxicology and toxicokinetics, monitoring data now available for the environment, wildlife, and humans and attempts to explain the mechanisms of action of PFCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis*
  • Fluorocarbons / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Fresh Water
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons