According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Safe Drinking Water Act set maximum levels for chemical contaminants in American drinking water in 1974, but government agencies did not yet consider PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), contenders for the list.
Only recently did the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announce a proposal for the regulation of PFAS in drinking water, but the government does not have guidance on what a safe level of PFAS should be.
Background on the PFAS Levels Testing
Although PFAS were first manufactured in the 1940s for consumer and industrial uses, Americans were generally not tested for the chemical until the 1990s, when it appeared to contaminate blood banks.
While the EPA’s proposal to consider regulation on PFAS chemicals is an important step in regulating PFAS, it is not an exhaustive approach to communicating what safe levels of PFAS are.
The Safe Drinking Water Act
Shortly after the EPA was established in 1974, President Gerald Ford signed The Safe Drinking Water Act into Federal law, according to the EPA. Growing environmentalist efforts in earlier decades put pressure on legislators and public officials to hold commercial industries and manufacturers accountable for things like chemical runoff that could potentially cause health problems for people drinking and using it. Currently, The Safe Drinking Water Act contains over 90 contaminants that are regulated by the EPA.
The Safe Drinking Water Act has been amended from its original form in the 1970s to reflect the needs of consumers. However, there are still many unregulated chemicals in American drinking water.
This is why the EPA is required to present a new list of potential chemicals to regulate every year. One of the EPA’s most recent endeavors, the PFAS Action Plan, is in response to the continued updates to The Safe Drinking Water Act. This 2020 effort is intended to determine what safe levels of PFAS are in our drinking water, including evaluating PFAS levels, monitoring them, and cleaning them up.
Current Testing Measures for PFAS
More than 286 million Americans get water from a community water system, according to the CDC. Perhaps unsurprisingly, scientists at the CDC found PFAS in nearly everyone tested. There are several current testing locations around the United States, in areas where levels of PFAS in water sources are thought to be at high concentrations. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) currently lists 10 main regions, each of which have selected PFAS testing sites.
Current testing procedures involve a cycle of steps to test and discuss the results with the communities and stakeholders surrounding the PFAS testing sites. The current testing measures are considered pilot programs to address unsafe levels of PFAS.
Risks of High PFAS Levels
Although unsafe levels of PFAS have not yet been federally mandated, peer-reviewed studies by the EPA indicate that high-level exposure to PFAS can have an adverse effect on your health.
The health effects mentioned can be devastating and may not be limited to any of the following:
- Cancer (bladder, blood, kidney, liver, pancreatic, prostate, testicular, thyroid)
- Low birth weights
- Thyroid (hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s, Grave’s, Goiter, thyroid nodules)
- Ulcerative colitis
While formal legislation regarding safe regulation of PFAS is yet to be introduced, the science is clear: High PFAS levels in drinking water, household products, and community resources may be detrimental to your health.
Because of this clear discrepancy between science and the continued production and use of these chemicals by manufacturers and government agencies, some people are taking legal action against the people liable for its previous and continued use.
Class Action Lawsuits Against PFAS Use
As previously mentioned, chances are as an American citizen, you have consumed PFAS from everyday activities like drinking water, cleaning your house, and breathing. If you suffer from chronic health issues that could have been caused by PFAS use, you may be eligible to initiate or join a class-action lawsuit. No matter how difficult your case may seem, the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm want to represent you.
An attorney from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help ensure you do not have to pay for the costs of an illness you did not cause. Some recoverable compensation from a class action or personal injury lawsuit can include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Mental anguish
This is not an exhaustive list of the compensation you could be entitled to. By calling a member of our team, you can get started on a free case evaluation, where you can receive an estimate of the awards you could recover.
We will fight for the settlement you deserve in or out of a courtroom setting. Call our offices today at (800) 788-4155.