The current article reviews the state of art of the perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) compounds and provides an overview of PFASs occurrence in the environment, wildlife, and humans. This study reviews the issues concerning PFASs exposure and potential risks generated with a focus on PFAS occurrence and transformation in various media, discusses their physicochemical characterization and treatment technologies, before discussing the potential human exposure routes. The various toxicological impacts to human health are also discussed. The article pays particular attention to the complexity and challenging issue of regulating PFAS compounds due to the arising uncertainty and lack of epidemiological evidence encountered. The variation in PFAS regulatory values across the globe can be easily addressed due to the influence of multiple scientific, technical, and social factors. The varied toxicology and the insufficient definition of PFAS exposure rate are among the main factors contributing to this discrepancy. The lack of proven standard approaches for examining PFAS in surface water, groundwater, wastewater, or solids adds more technical complexity. Although it is agreed that PFASs pose potential health risks in various media, the link between the extent of PFAS exposure and the significance of PFAS risk remain among the evolving research areas. There is a growing need to address the correlation between the frequency and the likelihood of human exposure to PFAS and the possible health risks encountered. Although USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) recommends the 70 ng/L lifetime health advisory in drinking water for both perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFO) perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is similar to the Australian regulations, the German Ministry of Health proposed a health-based guidance of maximum of 300 ng/L for the combination of PFOA and PFOS. Moreover, there are significant discrepancies among the US states where the water guideline levels for the different states ranged from 13 to 1000 ng L−1
for PFOA and/or PFOS. The current review highlighted the significance of the future research required to fill in the knowledge gap in PFAS toxicology and to better understand this through real field data and long-term monitoring programs.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited