Scientists faced a problem when the space race was heating up in the mid-20th century. They needed to develop materials to withstand the heat of atmospheric entry and corrosive effects of water when vessels land in the ocean.

Executive Summary

A perfect storm of PFAS liability momentum is building in the midst of climate change, social inflation and digital accessibility, observes Lauren Angelina, a senior liability underwriter at Allianz Global Corporate Specialty.

Here, she compiles answers to the most common questions insurers have about PFAS, including whether it's the next asbestos, why PFAS is so hard to underwrite, and what's next in terms of exposure and litigation.

Enter PFAS, synthetic organofluorides with several fluorine atoms linked to an alkyl chain. The carbon-fluorine chain of PFAS compounds is effectively indestructible, taking some PFAS a millennium to dissipate.

However, space was neither the first nor the only application of PFAS. With 14,735 unique compounds identified and counting, this endurance is not only useful in a galaxy far away but in our homes for products resistant to water, fire, stains, odors, wrinkles, oil and more. PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals that have been manufactured and used since the 1950s in familiar brands like Teflon pans and Scotchgard-treated fabrics because of their long-term durability.

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