March 08, 2023


Buildings renovated with furniture free of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) had significantly lower levels of the chemicals in dust compared to buildings with conventional furnishings, according to NIEHS-funded researchers from the Harvard University Environmental Health Sciences Core Center (Core Center).

Exposure to PFAS has been linked to a range of adverse health effects, including some cancers. There are thousands of different PFAS chemicals, making it challenging to measure total PFAS in an environment. To overcome this challenge, the researchers used organic fluorine – a compound found in all PFAS – as a proxy for measuring total PFAS. They also measured levels of 15 specific PFAS chemicals.

Levels of the 15 targeted PFAS were 66% lower in dust collected from rooms with PFAS-free materials compared to conventional rooms. Organic fluorine levels were also lower in the renovated spaces, showing that the presence of PFAS-free furnishings succeeded in lowering total PFAS.

According to the authors, study results show that PFAS-free materials can lower levels of the chemicals in buildings, providing a real-world solution to reduce indoor PFAS exposures. Check out the study to learn more.