Advice on reducing exposure to PFAS will vary with each location due to local circumstances.
The health authority in your state or territory will generally be responsible for determining site-specific precautionary health advice on PFAS. They will also be able to provide general advice on exposure and health effects, as well as information specific to local sites. People wanting to discuss personal health issues should talk to their local GP. The Australian Government Department of Health can also provide general advice about PFAS exposure and potential health effects. You can make enquiries to Health's information service by phone on 1800 941 180 or by email to health.PFAS@health.gov.au.
Select the national tab to find national guidance and advice on a range of PFAS matters and Commonwealth site investigations. Select the relevant tab to find who to contact for information about PFAS and any specific PFAS management requirements in your state or territory.
Advice by region
Health and other support
The Commonwealth Department of Health provides information on the potential health effects and pathways of PFAS exposure, current health initiatives and community support and engagement. Key advice documents available are:
- enHealth Guidance Statements on PFAS - June 2019 (PDF); enHealth Guidance Statements on PFAS - June 2019 (Word) - guidance for use in assessing any public health risks where PFAS have been released into the environment, including information on the major human exposure pathways, the development of human health reference values for PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS, breast feeding and pregnancy, and blood tests.
- PFAS Health Effects and Exposure Pathways - Factsheet (PDF); PFAS Health Effects and Exposure Pathways - Factsheet (Word) - produced by the Department of Health
- Mental health counselling services - information on how to access.
The Department of Health also has an information service for public enquiries relating to health and the Health-led initiatives developed in response to PFAS contamination. This service is available by phone on 1800 941 180 or by email to health.PFAS@health.gov.au.
Free financial counselling services are available to all Australians through the Australian Government Department of Human Services and some not-for-profit organisations. A list of organisations offering free financial counselling can be found on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website.
Food and water guidelines
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) provide information about Health Based Guidance Values, expressed as Tolerable Daily Intakes (TDIs), which are used by organisations and government agencies to investigate and assess potential human health risks, and assist in providing advice to affected communities on how to minimise exposure to PFAS. FSANZ has produced a short video, Chemicals in Food, which explains the methodology for determining safe levels of chemicals in food.
FSANZ has also developed non-regulatory ‘trigger-values’ for a range of food products which can be used by government authorities to identify whether further investigation may be required if PFAS are detected in analysed foods.
The PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP) provides nationally consistent information on the environmental regulation of PFAS contaminated materials and sites.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on a National Framework for Responding to PFAS Contamination also provides specific guidance on actions at PFAS contaminated sites.
Any contaminated site investigation in Australia should be conducted in accordance with the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure.
Site investigations on Commonwealth land
The Department of Defence is undertaking a national program to review, investigate and implement a comprehensive approach to manage the impacts of PFAS on, and in the vicinity of, some of its bases around Australia. For information on investigation sites, support programs and community consultation events, visit their Investigation and Management Sites page.
Airservices Australia is conducting a National PFAS Management Program at sites where it has provided aviation fire and rescue services using firefighting foam that contained PFAS.
Health information in the ACT regarding PFAS is provided by the Health Protection Service.
The ACT Environment Protection Authority (EPA) provides advice and guidance on the management of contaminated land in the ACT and is responsible for administering the Environment Protection Act 1997 (the Act) which regulates contaminated land. The Contaminated Sites Environment Protection Policy 2017 made under the Act provides guidance on contaminated sites management in the ACT associated with the use of PFAS. More information about the policy and contaminated sites register is available at Access Canberra.
The ACT EPA published a PFAS Action Plan - ACT in August 2019. The plan identifies specific actions and areas of responsibility when any PFAS is identified, with the EPA the lead agency for its implementation.
NSW Health provides general advice on exposure and health effects, as well as information about NSW specific sites.
NSW Department of Primary Industries provides fishing and dietary advice for areas with potential PFAS contamination.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority is undertaking a PFAS Investigation Program to identify the use and impacts of legacy PFAS across NSW.
Fire & Rescue NSW has commenced an environmental investigation to investigate and manage the potential presence and impacts of PFAS on, and in the vicinity of its sites.
The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority provides advice on local PFAS issues in the Northern Territory.
NT Power and Water has tested drinking water at a number of locations and compared their test results against the health based guidance values for PFAS.
The Queensland Government provides advice on local PFAS issues in Queensland.
Queensland Health provides general advice about PFAS and reducing the risk of exposure, as well as Queensland-specific information.
Queensland's Environmental Management of Firefighting Foam policy came into effect on 7 July 2019. It sets standards to be met by anyone who handles, transports, disposes, stores, uses, or releases firefighting foams in Queensland.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has tested soil and water at a number of their sites and compared their test results against the health based guidance values for PFAS.
SA Water provides advice on drinking water in South Australia.
The South Australian Environment Protection Authority provides advice on local PFAS issues in SA.
SA Health provides general advice on exposure pathways and the known health effects of PFAS.
South Australia's ban on fluorinated firefighting foams came into effect on 30 January 2018 and includes a two-year grace period to help industry meet the requirements of the ban.
Victoria's Interim position statement on PFAS summarises information about Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria’s position on PFAS and PFAS management, including leachate discharges to sewer and interim criteria for reuse of PFAS-impacted soil.
Health Victoria provides some general background on PFAS, as well as advice specific to a number of sites in Victoria.
Agriculture Victoria provides guidance for meat processors regarding PFAS, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions about PFAS in livestock.
EPA Victoria is coordinating an investigation into potential environmental contamination resulting from firefighting chemicals used in the past by the Victorian Country Fire Authority at its regional training centres. Information about other site investigations in Victoria is also available.
The WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation provides advice on local PFAS issues in Western Australia.
Western Australia Health provides general advice on exposure pathways and the known health impacts of PFAS.