Polyfluorinated compounds: past, present, and future

Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Oct 1;45(19):7954-61. doi: 10.1021/es2011622. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


Interest and concern about polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and an increasing number of other related compounds is growing as more is learned about these ubiquitous anthropogenic substances. Many of these compounds can be toxic, and they are regularly found in the blood of animals and humans worldwide. A great deal of research has been conducted in this area, but a surprising amount remains unknown about their distribution in the environment and how people ultimately become exposed. The utility of these compounds seems to ensure their continued use in one form or another for the foreseeable future, presenting a long-term challenge to scientists, industry leaders, and public health officials worldwide.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Fluorocarbons / analysis*
  • Fluorocarbons / chemistry
  • Fluorocarbons / history
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans


  • Fluorocarbons