Aquatic Toxicology of Perfluorinated Chemicals

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Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are fluorinated at all of the valence electrons of the carbon atoms in organic molecules, or at least a portion of the molecule is perfluorinated (Fig. 1). All PFCs are synthetic and many have been used in commercially available products or released as byproducts. A partial list of the compounds that are known to have been manufactured and/or released into the environment is given in Table 1. These compounds vary in structure, and thus exhibit different environmental fates and toxicities. Unfortunately, there is presently little information on the chemical–physical properties of most PFCs, and even less toxicity information is available on these compounds.