But research shows the chemicals are toxic to laboratory animals, so the U.S. government is exploring ways to clean up the contamination. Firefighter training grounds and industrial lands, including oil fields, are among the commonly affected areas.
An environmental chemist at the University of Georgia is helping lead the effort. Jack Huang has been awarded almost $700,000 from the Department of Defense to continue his research into methods that would help break down PFCs.
Several countries already place heavy restrictions on the use of PFCs, as do a handful of U.S. states.