PFOS and PFOA Found in Water Samples in New York

Our lab has been inundated with samples pertaining to PFOS/PFOA, but what is it?

First, a disclaimer: All PFOS/PFOA testing sent to our lab is performed by a certified contract laboratory. We qualify any results against the original sample information and addresses affected.

PFOS and PFOA have become almost household acronyms in the past few years. They are relatively new and unknown compounds, yet create buzz when mentioned.

Th EPA: “PFOS and PFOA are part of a larger group of chemicals called per- and
polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). PFASs, which are highly fluorinated
aliphatic molecules, have been released to the environment through
industrial manufacturing and through use and disposal of PFAS-containing
products (Liu and Mejia Avendano 2013). PFOS and PFOA are the most
widely studied of the PFAS chemicals. PFOS and PFOA are persistent in the
environment and resistant to typical environmental degradation processes.
As a result, they are widely distributed across all trophic levels and are found
in soil, air and groundwater at sites across the United States. The toxicity,
mobility and bioaccumulation potential of PFOS and PFOA result in potential
adverse effects on the environment…”

Chemical structure PFOS and PFOA

What does this mean?

Basically, they are human-made, fluorinated compounds that are cancer-causing. There are many studies linking them to many more illnesses.


Do I need my water tested for this?

The short answer is, no; not if you don’t have a well. If you have a well, the EWG Interactive Map gives some of the known positive water source locations throughout the US. Relative to land mass there are few sites, but there have been locations through Rensselaer county and New York State.

Where can I get further information?

For general chemistry and health questions,  the links included in this article offer a plethora of great research information. If you are looking for a quick consult, feel free to email us:


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