The effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances on environmental and human microorganisms and their potential for bioremediation
Utilised in a variety of consumer products, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are major environmental contaminants that accumulate in living organisms due to their highly hydrophobic, lipophobic, heat-resistant, and non-biodegradable properties. This review summarizes their effects on microbial populations in soils, aquatic and biogeochemical systems, and the human microbiome. Specific microbes are insensitive to and even thrive with PFAS contamination, such as Escherichia coli and the Proteobacteria in soil and aquatic environments, while some bacterial species, such as Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi, are sensitive and drop in population. Some bacterial species, in turn, have shown success in PFAS bioremediation, such as Acidimicrobium sp. and Pseudomonas parafulva.
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