AbstractThis review gives an overview of existing knowledge of polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) in humans and in marine biota. Temporal trends and spatial distribution of PFCs were globally compared in humans, marine mammals, seabirds and fish. In general, PFC concentrations in the environment have increased significantly from the beginning of the production up to the 1990s. After the phase-out of perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (POSF) production starting in 2000, PFC concentrations in humans generally decreased. In marine biota no clear temporal trends were observed. The temporal trends depended on the species, their trophic levels and the geographical locations. PFC patterns in humans and in marine wildlife species were compared regarding perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), their shorter and longer chain homologues (C4–C15) and precursor compounds. Finally knowledge gaps were identified and recommendations for future work were presented.