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Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid ("PFOS")

Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid ("PFOS")

Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) is one of a group of related chemicals known as Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances ("PFAS"). These are also called perfluorochemicals (PFCs). This group of chemicals is commonly used in a wide range of industrial processes and is found in many consumer products. PFOS has been used in stain-resistant fabrics, fire-fighting foams, food packaging, and as a surfactant in
industrial processes.

There is currently no consistent evidence that exposure to PFOS and PFOA causes adverse human health effects. However, based on the evidence from animal studies potential adverse health effects cannot be excluded.

The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care has established "Health-based guidance values for PFAS for use in site investigations in Australia" in the form of a Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for PFOS, PFHxS and PFOA.

The Department of Health, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the National Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have developed health based guidance values for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), which belong to a group of chemicals known as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

These values aim to protect the general community from exposure to PFAS from food, drinking water and recreational water. The guidance values are available in two documents;


    In preparing this definition, we have drawn from various sources including Legislation, Codes, Standards and industry information, research and knowledge.  Like the english language, these definitions may subtly change from time to time. As such these definitions are provided solely on the basis that users will be responsible for making their own assessment of the definition and and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.