July 8, 2021

New NIOSH Page Discusses PFAS Exposures, Research

A new NIOSH workplace safety and health topic page focuses on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of synthetic chemicals used in many industry and consumer products. Firefighting foam, paints, personal care products, construction materials, and industrial processing aids are examples of products in which PFAS are used. According to NIOSH, exposure to PFAS has been linked to cancer and other harmful health effects, and workers in certain industries may have higher exposures than the general public. Chemical manufacturing workers, firefighters, and ski wax technicians are among the occupations that are known to be more exposed to PFAS. Such workers may be exposed by touching concentrated products or by breathing PFAS in the air at their workplace, NIOSH explains.

NIOSH’s new page provides information on risks to workers, collects additional resources on PFAS, and discusses agency research related to PFAS exposures in the workplace. Current NIOSH research activities are focused on exposure and health assessments in manufacturing workers, service sector workers, and firefighters; dermal absorption assessments, sampling and analytical methods, toxicity testing in animals, and high throughput screening in vitro studies; and firefighter turnout gear testing for PFAS in textiles.

View the new topic page on NIOSH’s website.