PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) exposure is dangerous, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), because it can cause health problems, such as:
- Increase of cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Increase of a risk to develop cancer.
- Interference with hormones in the body and the performance of the thyroid.
- Reduction in the effectiveness of the immune system.
- Changes in the function of some organs, such as the liver and pancreas.
- Potential low body weight for newborn babies.
Researchers and health care professionals did not know why PFAS is dangerous until recently when they found multiple health problems in humans associated with PFAS exposure.
Someone with exposure to PFAS compounds may have one or more of these symptoms. Because other illnesses could also have an association with these symptoms, it can be difficult for a doctor to pinpoint PFAS exposure as a potential contributor without performing a blood test to look for the presence of one or more PFAS chemicals.
Fully Understanding PFAS Exposure
As an element of the potential danger of exposure to PFAS, researchers and doctors are not entirely sure of just how many different health problems PFAS could cause. Researchers have spent quite a bit of time looking at some of the most common types of PFAS compounds, but dozens of other chemicals that fit inside the PFAS family remain relatively unknown.
Health care professionals and researchers are likely to find additional health problems related to PFAS exposure in the future. If you have suffered a PFAS exposure, you and your doctor should monitor your symptoms and maintain notes on how your health changes over time.
It could be beneficial to bring a lawsuit against those companies involved in manufacturing PFAS over the past several decades, seeking compensation for your pain, suffering, reduction in quality of life, and medical bills.
Severity of Symptoms
In laboratory studies involving animals, researchers have found that higher-level exposure to PFAS leads to more serious and obvious symptoms. However, any detectable level of PFAS in the human bloodstream could result in even minor symptoms in a human.
Prevalence of PFAS in the Environment
PFAS have appeared in different types of industries for decades, dating back to the 1940s. Because these chemicals do not break down naturally, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the PFAS compounds can linger in one location years or decades after a manufacturer stopped using the chemicals actively.
This leads to PFAS compounds leaking into the soil or the groundwater in the area, where they can still lead to exposure for humans today.
Most Common PFAS Exposure Possibilities
Some of the most frequent exposures to PFAS occur in locations including:
- Manufacturing sites: Industries involved in food packaging, chrome plating, and creating electronics likely included the use of PFAS in high concentrations, resulting in contamination of the area.
- Household products: Items you use on a daily basis, such as water-repellant fabrics, stain-repellant fabrics, wax, paint, cleaners, polishes, and non-stick cookware may have PFAS chemicals in them.
- First responder bases: Areas like airports, military bases with aircrafts, and firefighter training areas used PFAS regularly for decades, leading to contamination over time.
Even though American phased out most types of PFAS compounds, the chemicals still remain in the areas where manufacturers used them, which could lead to continued exposures. This is why there are ongoing lawsuits against companies that exposed PFAS to workers and consumers.
Exposure of Workers
Those who worked in manufacturing plants or sites where PFAS compounds commonly appeared could now have multiple health problems. Workers may not have had any idea of the danger they could face through exposure to PFAS at the time they were doing the work.
Some companies involved in the use of PFAS knew of the dangers of these chemicals well before they agreed to stop using them.
Determining Your PFAS Exposure
Because PFAS does not break down easily after it enters the human body, someone who suffered a PFAS exposure several years or even a few decades ago may still have detective levels of these chemicals in their blood.
If you believe you may be suffering from PFAS exposure, you and your doctor can run blood tests to search for the chemicals.
If you were exposed by a specific company that did not tell its consumers why PFAS is dangerous, you could be entitled to compensation. You may be able to join a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers of PFAS, should the blood tests show your exposure is creating health problems for you.
Call a member of the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm team at (800) 788-4155 as soon as possible for a free review of your case. Our team takes pride in helping our clients receive the fairest possible settlements for their pain, suffering, and medical bills.