PFOA and PFOS are fluorinated organic chemicals that are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). They have been used to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., cookware) that are resistant to water, grease or stains. They are also used for firefighting at airfields and in a number of industrial processes.

Since these chemicals have been used in consumer products, most people have been exposed to them.

Some PFAS are also known as C8 chemicals because of the number of carbon atoms in a PFAS chemical. The strong carbon-fluorine bond in PFAS is one factor in causing significant health risks. Other PFAS with fewer carbons have also been shown to create health risks.

The C8 Science Panel

The C8 Science Panel conducted exposure and health studies from 2005 to 2013 in the Mid-Ohio Valley communities, which has been potentially affected by the releases of PFOA (or C) emitted since the 1950s from the Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The main conclusions that came from this panel were described in the Probable Link reports, which summarized, in each case, whether the Science Panel found or did not find a link between exposure and a disease.

Effects of Exposure to PFOA

The C8 Science Panel concluded that there was a Probable Link to C8 exposure and the following conditions:

View the all the Science Panel’s Probable Link reports here.

EPA 2016 Lifetime Health Advisories

The U.S. E.P.A. develops health advisories to provide information on contaminants that can cause human health effects and are known or anticipated to occur in drinking water. The E.P.A. established the health advisory levels at 70 parts per trillion (“ppt”). When both PFOA and PFOS are found in drinking water, the combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS should be compared with the 70 ppt advisory level.

Proposal for Coordinated Health Research in PFAS-contaminated communities in the US

Read the proposal from Thomas A. Bruton and Arlene Blum for a coordinated research of PFAS-contaminated communities to determine the health impacts of exposure to highly fluorinated chemicals here.


If your water has been contaminated by chemicals, you may have a claim against the responsible party for damages to your property or for increased health risks.

If you have been affected by the water contaminated with PFCs, our lawyers can advise you or your rights and remedies. We can be reached by phone at 303-861-8800, or by filling out the contact form below.


The Hannon Law Firm LLC has represented numerous individuals and businesses in landmark cases for both personal injury and property damage resulting from toxic chemicals. The firm has pioneered groundbreaking approaches to protect and compensate its clients in trial courts and appeals courts. If you want to know more about the types of cases we can handle, or have in the past, please see our case results page.