Scientists first discovered the tasteless, odorless chemicals along a stretch of southern New Jersey in 2020. Combinations of carbon and fluorine molecules littered the soil and water, where they were absorbed by fish and, quite possibly, the people who live there.
The compounds are part of a family of thousands of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, used for decades in consumer products like Teflon cookware, rain gear, and food packaging. The more scientists research PFAS, the more concern emerges about their potential health effects.
USA Today, 7 March 2022