Chemicals and Health: New York State PFAS, Exposure and Health Projects

Image showing products containing PFAS including furniture, water repellent clothing, furniture, paint and varnish, heat-resistent cookware, pesticides, insulation, food packaging and adhesives

The New York State Department of Health conducts projects that look at exposures and health outcomes associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), metals, and many other environmental contaminants.

Learn More About PFAS

Public health agencies and New Yorkers have become increasingly aware of PFAS in the environment. Studies show that human exposure to PFAS is widespread and that nearly all people in the United States have some PFAS compounds in their blood.

People can be exposed to PFAS through air, water or soil contaminated from fire-fighting foam, industrial sources, food, and PFAS-containing consumer products. Some of these compounds remain in the environment and in the human body for many years, but levels go down once exposures have ended. PFAS has also been detected in public drinking water supplies and in private wells near where these chemicals were manufactured, used, or disposed of in New York State and the U.S. Learn more about PFAS.

Current Efforts Under Way in New York

Biomonitoring NY

The State Health Department is conducting the Biomonitoring NY Project to learn more about levels of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), pesticides, and heavy metals in New Yorkers. New York State is one of six states that received funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct this five-year, statewide project. More information about Biomonitoring NY.

New York State Multi-site PFAS Health Study

The State Health Department, in partnership with the University at Albany’s School of Public Health is participating in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) five-year, Multi-site Health Study, which is the first study to look at exposure to PFAS in multiple communities nationwide. This study examines exposures and certain health effects among people living in communities where PFAS were detected in drinking water. More information about the New York State PFAS Multi-Site Study.

Community Projects

New York State has conducted several PFAS biomonitoring projects since 2016 in the Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh area, the City of Newburgh, and the Westhampton area. More information about these projects.

PFAS in the Environment and Drinking Water

PFAS are commonly found in the environment and have been detected in drinking water. Read about how they are regulated in public water supplies and recommendations for private wells.