Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are perfluorinated surfactants used to produce polymers and telomers whose carbon chain can be differently long. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), namely Teflon, is the chief fluoropolymer and it has been widely utilised over the last decades and all over the world. Indeed, its particular physical and chemical properties make it difficult to replace this substance in several industries (textile, paper, chemical, fire-fighting foam industry). Perfluoroalkyl-compounds may be considered ubiquitous and, in particular, it has been shown that PFOS may be concentrated in the food chain. Concerns about possible toxic effects of these chemicals date back to seventies, but only in 2000 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated PFOA and PFOS withdrawal to avoid environmental pollution. In 2002 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that these substances are bio-persistent, tend to accumulate in different tissues of living organisms and are toxic to mammalians. In 2006 EPA established that every PFOA emission will be eliminated not later than 2015. Actually, health effects of perfluoroalkyl-compounds on humans remain controversial, in spite of a number of experimental and epidemiological studies. Research focuses on possible endocrine disruption, thyroid and liver carcinogenicity, and development alteration. Our article reviews the main studies concerning PFOS and PFOA industrial and environmental toxicology.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health