Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser.

This website may not display properly with Internet Explorer. For the best experience, please use a more recent browser such as the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and/or Mozilla Firefox. Thank you.

Your Environment. Your Health.

PFAS Research

water flowing into glass being held under a faucet

First created in the 1930s, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances include about 5,000 man-made chemicals used to make various types of everyday products. These chemicals, better known as PFAS, keep food from sticking to cookware, make clothes and carpets resistant to stains, and create firefighting foam that is more effective. For more information, see our Environmental Health Topics page on PFAS.

What is NIEHS doing?

NIEHS is supporting an aggressive program of research on human exposure to PFAS chemicals and the potential for PFAS exposure to cause harm to children’s cognitive and neurobehavioral development, immune system dysfunction, endocrine disruption, obesity, diabetes, lipid metabolism, and certain cancers.

There are many research-related activities underway throughout the institute:

  • The National Toxicology Program (NTP) Studies: NTP conducts studies on Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) as part of a larger effort to assess these chemicals. Read detailed descriptions of the studies and their findings.
  • Grants for PFAS Research: NIEHS awards over $10 million in grants annually to more than 40 universities and research centers studying PFAS. Check out their current list of published studies.
  • NIEHS-Supported PFAS Meetings and National PFAS Events: NIEHS-supported researchers share their findings on PFAS at events across the country. Check out some of the upcoming meetings and events.
  • Other PFAS-Related Resources: Check out some of the PFAS-related stories in NIEHS’ newsletter, the Environmental Factor, along with more resources from our federal partners.

Federal collaboration

NIEHS also works closely with other federal agencies. For example, the National Toxicology Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency together assess more than 140 PFAS across various subgroups. NIEHS partners with the Department of Defense to explore Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) mixture toxicology and explore possible alternatives. Finally, NIEHS works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry on this study: Human health effects of drinking water exposures to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): A multi-site cross-sectional study.

Back
to Top