Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured since the 1940s and are found in many consumer products used today. These chemicals do not readily breakdown in the environment and studies indicate exposure can lead to harmful effects to human health.
In response to these potential health effects, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) established health advisories for two PFAS compounds, PFOA and PFOS in drinking water at maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) in the parts per trillion. States, including New Hampshire, regulate not only PFOA and PFOS in drinking water but include regulations for additional PFAS compounds at lower MCLs. PFAS monitoring has been included in public water supply sampling schedules as well as groundwater permits. Surface water, waste water and sludge are also being tested for these compounds.