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Applied sciences and engineering/Industrial science/Industrial chemistry

A family of approximately 4,700 synthetic compounds used in everything from housewares to fire-fighting foam, PFAS persist in the environment and bioaccumulate. Studies have found that 97 percent of people have PFAS in their blood and a number of the compounds are linked to human health issues.

Americans spend 70 years of an average 79-year life span inside, exposed to thousands of particles and gases.

Despite significant challenges ahead, the U.S. economy leads the world in high-tech manufacturing and technology-infused services, said Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the nonprofit Council on Competitiveness.