PFAS - the "eternal chemicals“

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, PFAS for short, are not naturally occurring substances and are known as "eternal chemicals".

They are found in products such as Teflon pans, shampoos, pizza boxes, carpets and clothing. A very large source of PFAS is firefighting foam, which is often used at sites with fire incidents, on firefighting grounds, military properties and airports.

They have therefore become a major environmental concern since the 1960s. PFAS are toxic to humans and animals and are suspected of being carcinogenic, affecting hormone balance, increasing the risk of heart attacks or the likelihood of developing neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Due to their extreme longevity, PFASs accumulate in high concentrations, especially near factories, landfills and military installations. PFASs spread further in nature via the water cycle and transport of substances and eventually enter the food chain via water and soil.

There is currently growing concern in Europe about the impact of PFAS on the environment and human health. In recent years, more and more cases of PFAS contamination have been reported in Europe.


Despite the complex structures of these toxic chemicals, safe and inexpensive remediation of PFAS is possible.

Authorities often demand remediation targets that are in the order of detection limits. However, these can hardly be achieved by proportionate means in remediation. A more sensible approach is to consider each PFAS contaminated site individually and focus on hazard preventation by concentrating on hazard assessment and the derivation of site-specific action values.


The remediation of PFAS-polluted soils and groundwaters is a complex and often expensive matter and remediation options are limited.

However, there are opportunities to reduce costs through targeted quantification of toxicological exposure risk and to formulate pragmatic site-specific remediation targets.

By involving the companies HPC international SAS and Sensatec GmbH in its "Brownfield Solutions Initiative", Geobality Europe can now offer cost-effective remediation of PFAS. Companies and municipalities receive support in developing solutions for this problem, which can help to reduce the pollution of soils and groundwater with PFAS and thus protect the environment.