PFAS are a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used since the 1950s in a range of common household products and specialty applications, including the manufacture of non-stick cookware, fabric, furniture and carpet stain-protection, food packaging, some industrial processes and aqueous fire fighting foam.
The Commonwealth Department of Health in their Health Effects and Exposure Pathways Factsheet advises there is no conclusive evidence that PFAS causes any specific illnesses, including cancer, in humans. However, since the chemicals remain in humans and the environment for many years, it is recommended that as a precaution human exposure to PFAS be minimised.
Studies have shown that almost everyone has PFAS in their blood. People may be exposed to PFAS in the air, dust, food, water and various consumer products.
Airservices uses the Department of Health’s final tolerable daily intake values and subsequently derived, health-based guidance values for recreational and drinking water quality when conducting site investigations. For more information, please visit the Department of Health’s website.
State and Territory health and environmental authorities also provide health advice on PFAS which can be found on their websites.