HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Environmental Protection Agency has given Connecticut $18 million in funding to prevent per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, from entering drinking water.

PFAS are chemicals that are used to make products that resist oil, stains and water.

“What an important and remarkable step, to recognize that it isn’t just our big water systems, but smaller ones, and those in our disadvantage communities that are going to need help to address contamination by PFAS and other emerging contaminants,” Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani said.

PFAS have been in household, commercial and industrial products for years. Exposure to them can lead to immune system problems, high cholesterol levels and some cancers.

The EPA also plans to restrict discharges of the chemicals.