Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, are a class of up to 10,000 human-made fluorinated organic chemicals. The chemicals can be found in food, drinking water, living organisms and a wide range of consumer and industry products, including water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, pizza boxes, cleaning products, paints and firefighting foams. Due to their resistance to grease, oil, water, and heat, inability to break down over time and tendency to accumulate in the environment and humans, they are also known as “forever chemicals.”

In 2018, the federal government published a comprehensive and controversial toxicology review of perfluoroalkyls chemicals and their human health effects, upending previous federally accepted standards for exposure to PFAS. Epidemiological studies link exposure to PFAS to adverse health effects. State governments have often moved faster than the federal government to regulate PFAS substances. Recent lawsuits from state lawmakers allege PFAS manufacturers, primarily 3M, DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva are responsible for PFAS contamination of local drinking water in several states.

Illustrations by Saloni Kothari

Read more about PFAS

A woman drinking water representing the PFAS chemical drinking water lawsuit.

3M Offers $12.5 Billion Revised PFAS Che...

MedTruth Editors · September 22, 2023

The settlement provides protections for both 3M and water utilities by preventing utilities from demanding additional funds from 3M if they opt into the settlement.

Person filling up a cup with tap water representing the PFAS drinking water class action lawsuit.

PFAS Coalition of States Voice Oppositio...

MedTruth Editors · August 8, 2023

The coalition says that a more comprehensive settlement must be reached before undergoing the lengthy and costly process of disseminating class notices.

Legal Developments
Image of a scientist getting a water sample representing the PFAS water contamination settlement.

3M Settles PFAS Water Contamination Clai...

MedTruth Editors · July 7, 2023

The settlement will provide funds to public water systems to test for PFAS chemicals and treat contamination of the synthetic compounds.

Customer getting McDonald's food in a drive-through representing the McDonald's PFAS lawsuit.

Plaintiffs Fight to Preserve McDonald's PFAS Lawsuit

MedTruth Editors · February 21, 2023

The lawsuit claims that McDonald’s failed to warn consumers that its food packaging was contaminated with PFAS.

A man drinking water representing the Alameda County PFAS MDL regarding drinking water.

Alameda County Joins PFAS MDL

MedTruth Editors · January 11, 2023

The lawsuit claims that major companies knew that since the 1960s, the PFAS chemicals they were manufacturing were toxic and leached into the drinking water system in Alameda County.

Legal Developments
U.S. military members are able to sue the government for toxic chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Military Base Toxic Chemical Lawsuits

MedTruth Editors · December 9, 2022

U.S. military members are able to sue the government for toxic chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Health Features
Two firefighters using aqueous film-forming foam to fight a fire, representing the PFAS class action.

Firefighters File PFAS Class Action

MedTruth Editors · August 5, 2022

PFAS chemicals, which are resistant to breaking down naturally in the environment, may accumulate in human tissue and have been associated with various health complications.

People on a bus wearing face masks representing Limited PFAS Levels in Face Masks

Study Finds Limited PFAS Levels in Face Masks

MedTruth Editors · May 9, 2022

Researchers found eight of the nine masks tested did not exceed safe PFAS exposure levels.

Research + Findings
Image of the Hudson River in New York representing Suez suing Dupont for PFAS contamination.

DuPont Avoids PFAS Lawsuit in New York

MedTruth Editors · January 18, 2022

Suez Water New York claims DuPont contaminated New York’s water supply with PFAS.

Legal Developments
Image of a woman drinking water representing PFAS contaminated drinking water.

How Many Types of PFAS Exist?

MedTruth Editors · October 12, 2021

While PFOA and PFOS have been well documented as harmful, many companies are switching to a new PFAS chemical: GenX.

Health Features
Image of carpet manufacturing representing the Georgia PFAS lawsuits.

PFAS Lawsuits Centered in Georgia Have National Implications

MedTruth Editors · October 6, 2021

Last week, a federal judge in Georgia issued a ruling on one of the cases that could affect PFAS litigation throughout the nation.

Legal Developments
Image of a lighthouse in Maine representing the PFAS ban.

Maine To Ban Products With PFAS Chemicals

MedTruth Editors · September 13, 2021

Maine’s law will forbid the sale of products with PFAS chemicals.