Per and poly-fluroalkyl substances (PFASs)

What are PFOS and PFOAs?

PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) are chemicals that have been used since the 1950s in a range of common household products, like non-stick cookware, furniture and food packaging, and industrial products, like some types of fire-fighting foam.


Are there any health implications?

According to the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee, the long-term health effects of exposure to these chemicals are currently unknown, but on current evidence from studies on animals, the potential for adverse health effects on humans cannot be excluded.

For more information contact your relevant health authority or speak to your local GP.


Who is affected by PFOS and PFOAs?

Australians would be exposed to products containing these chemicals through everyday life. It is expected that detection of small amounts of these chemicals is routinely present in human blood.

People who work in industries that use PFOS or PFOA, or use products containing these chemicals, may be exposed to higher levels than the general public.

Where larger quantities of PFOS and PFOA have been released into the environment, communities located near those sites may be exposed to higher levels than the general public.


Can I donate blood if I am considered to be in a higher-risk group?

Lifeblood does not have a specific deferral for PFOS or PFOA. We do not have a program for venesection to decrease PFAS levels and are not accepting referrals through our therapeutic app.

Studies overseas have shown wide variations in PFOS and PFOA levels in donated blood among the general population and higher levels have not been shown to have adverse outcomes in blood recipients.

Lifeblood does not recommend donors undergo blood testing for the purpose of donating blood.

Donors must feel healthy and well and meet a number of other health requirements in order to donate.

Our donor questionnaire will pick up any donor that has been unwell or been to the doctor for any tests or investigations.

If you are unsure about your health or have any concerns please contact your GP.


What will Lifeblood do next?

We will continue to monitor scientific evidence and developments to ensure our policy remains in line with current evidence and international practice. If required, we will adjust our policy accordingly.


Where can I get more information?

You can call us on 13 14 95.