Virginia Coastal Policy Center


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of man-made industrial chemicals that have been widely used in a variety of ways, primarily in water-resistant coatings and fire-fighting foam. Their widespread use has led to broad contamination threats to human drinking water sources, including surface and groundwater. As a result, they are an emerging contaminant of concern that are swiftly turning into a global health threat on the forefront of regulatory and policy debates. PFAS have been detected in both aquatic life and humans, and research is increasingly clear that there are concrete health risks to excessive exposure. Currently there are no binding federal restrictions of PFAS, leading some states to take the lead in developing regulations for this class of emerging contaminants. This paper will give a brief overview of what PFAS is, what the federal and state governments are doing about it, and various recommendations.

This abstract has been taken from the authors' introduction.

Document Type

Water Quality, Water Quantity, and Marine Debris

Publication Date

Spring 2020