We're exposed to chemical compounds called Perfluorooctanoic acid, or "PFOAs", everyday. They repel water and grease and are found in microwave popcorn bags and fast food packaging like pizza boxes, non-stick cookware, and even in drinking water.

 'The reason that PFOA and some of these other chemicals are of concern are because they are so persistent in the environment," said Dr. Kim Innes, WVU Community Medicine. "They're exclusively manmade. They don't break down, or at least they don't break down very rapidly and they last a very long time in humans."

 A recent WVU study found an association between PFOAs and a higher risk of arthritis.

 "It was about 50,000 people who had been exposed to PFOA through contaminated drinking water in Ohio and West Virginia," Innes added. "We found about a 40 percent increase of their reporting osteoarthritis people in the highest quartile of PFOA."

 Does this mean you should stop using these products? Researchers say we just need to be more aware.

 "We are not interested in alarming people," said Innes. "People just need to be aware and as much as possible keep abreast of the recent research."

 And there will be more research Right now, the use of PFOAs is declining in the U.S. as the EPA evaluates alternatives to these widely used chemicals.