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PFOA and PFOS: What They Are

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). PFCs are not found naturally in the environment. PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. They have been used to make cookware, carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, and other materials that are resistant to water, grease, or stains. They are also used in firefighting foams and in a number of industrial processes.