PFAS is a family of chemicals known as Per- and Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances. They are very effective “surfactants”, meaning they repel both oil and water, and are therefore present in all kinds of products we use in our daily lives: for example they keep your microwave popcorn bag from getting oily and they repel water in your GOR-TEX jackets.
Recently the media has put a big spotlight on PFAS concerns, primarily because it has been detected in drinking water, yet almost every American is exposed to household items with PFAS on a regular basis. Should you be worried? For most people the short answer is no, because your daily exposure from consumer products is relatively low. The real concerns, as with every environmental contaminant, are the amount and route of exposure. So, while PFAS shouldn’t be a household concern, they are very difficult to remove when impropertly disposed of in the environment.
We've historically taken a proactive approach when it comes to our clients projects, and simply put, we've been aware of PFAS for some time now, despite its recent attention. There are specific types of properties and end uses where a purchaser or owner should be concerned about the possibility of PFAS contamination (such as former plating site or fire fighter training facilities) and this should be a consideration in your environmental due diligence process. Should you have any concerns about PFAS and its effect on your land or project, please email Rick Welsh (firstname.lastname@example.org), ASTI"s Director of the Property Services Group, for more information.