Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals used extensively in consumer and industrial products since the 1950s. They accumulate in water, soil, and in the human body. Research has shown that 98% of Americans have detectable levels of PFAS in their blood.
DCCPS-funded epidemiological studies on the relationship between different types of PFAS and cancer incidence found positive associations with several cancers and a range of adverse health effects relevant to cancer (e.g., obesity, immune disruption, metabolic dysregulation). For example, the NCI report Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial indicated a more than twofold increased risk of renal cell carcinoma among those in the highest quartile versus the lowest quartile of serum PFAS.
In response to DCCPS findings and other studies, several state laws took effect in 2023 that ban the addition of PFAS to products, limit PFAS in drinking water, and regulate the labeling and reporting of PFAS. The US Environmental Protection Agency is considering regulatory actions for PFAS.