PFCs include a wide range of compounds, such as carboxylic acids, alcohols, sulfonates, sulfonamides, etc., the most common being the perfluorooctyl sulfonate (PFOS) and the perfluorodecyl carboxylate (PFCA) (Table 1). PFCs have been used for more than 50 years and are involved in different industrial processes and applications such as surfactants, polishers, surface protectors, pesticides, paper, photographs, etc. The principal production of PFOS was reduced in 2000 with total elimination in 2002.
PFOS does not hydrolyze, photolyze, or biodegrade under most environmental conditions. It is persistent in the environment and has been shown to bioconcentrate in fish. It has been detected in a number of wildlife species including mammals collected worldwide  and, recently, PFCAs ranging in length from 9 to 15 carbons have also been found in polar bear livers . Nevertheless, the mechanism for long-range transport is not understood because they are not volatile. Oxidation of the highly volatile alcohols to car-boxylic acids has been suggested.
Was this article helpful?