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Immunotoxicity Associated with Exposure to Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) or Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)

commercial and industrial applications of PFOA

Topic Overview

CASRN: 335-67-1; 1763-23-1
Status: Evaluation completed

Background Information

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are extremely persistent chemicals that are widely distributed in the environment as a result of high chemical stability under normal environmental conditions and extensive use over the last 50 years in commercial and industrial applications including fluoropolymer manufacturing, food packaging, lubricants, water-resistant coating, and fire-fighting foams. PFOS was phased out of production and use in 2002, and U.S. manufacturers eliminated PFOA emissions and product content at the end of 2015. Although emissions have been dramatically reduced in the United Status and Western Europe, it is not clear if global production has changed as there has been a shift in productions to Asia. Some published studies of PFOA and PFOS raised concerns about potential immune system health effects and NTP received nominations to conduct a review of immune effects for these chemicals.

NTP conducted a systematic review to evaluate the evidence on exposure to PFOA or PFOS and immune-related health effects to determine whether exposure to either chemical is associated with immunotoxicity for humans. NTP concludes that both PFOA and PFOS are presumed to be an immune hazard to humans based on a high level of evidence from animal studies that PFOA and PFOS suppressed the antibody response and a moderate level of evidence from studies in humans. The evidence that these chemicals affect multiple aspects of the immune system supports the overall conclusion that both PFOA and PFOS alter immune functions in humans.


Documents for Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) or Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)
Date Document
Jun 01, 2015 NTP Protocol
Aug 14, 2015 Federal Register notice requesting information and nomination of scientific experts for proposed peer review meeting (PDF HTML)
Feb 26, 2016 Federal Register notice (PDF HTML)
May 18, 2016 Literature Search Results
Sep 01, 2016 NTP Monograph - Final
Preferred Citation: NTP (National Toxicology Program). 2016. Monograph on Immunotoxicity Associated with Exposure to Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Research Triangle Park, NC: National Toxicology Program.

Meetings & Events

Listing of related events
Date Event Event Type Materials
Jul 19, 2016

Peer Review of the Draft NTP Monograph on Immunotoxicity Associated with Exposure to Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) or Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)

Expert Panels - NTP Monographs

Supplemental materials for events, meetings, and workshops prior to 2016 have been archived. These archived materials frequently include presentations, background materials, and public comments. Email us or use our contact form to request a list or copy of archived materials for the following meeting.

Note on Accessibility: Persons with disabilities or using assistive technology may find some documents are not fully accessible. For assistance, email us or use our contact form and identify the documents/pages for which access is required. We will assist you in accessing the content of these files. NIEHS has helpful information on accessibility.