PFAS (Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) belong to a group of manmade toxic chemicals used in the United States since the 1940s and can be found in many consumer products and in our soil, air, and water.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is evidence that PFAS can lead to adverse health effects. The chemical does not break down and can accumulate in human bodies over time; hence it’s also called a “forever chemical.”
We are all exposed to a certain amount of PFAS by drinking water contaminated with PFAS or using consumer products containing PFAS.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that except drinking water, exposure to PFAS in our environment and consumer products is typically low these days.
What Is PFAS?
PFAS is a toxic chemical that is resistant to grease, oil, water, and heat, making it ideal for use in a variety of products such as carpeting, cleaning products, and firefighting foams, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Since PFAS is so effective in fighting flammable liquid fires, such as oil and fuel fires, it was widely installed on military installations, ships, airplanes, airports, and elsewhere.
PFAS persists in the environment, particularly in water and soil. It also persists and can build up in fish, animals, and humans. Many of us have come into contact with various products containing PFAS, such as non-stick cookware or cleaning products. Others possibly endured exposure through working in PFAS manufacturing industries.
As a result of PFAS exposure, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), almost all of us now have a detectable concentration of the chemical in our blood.
Why Is PFAS Dangerous?
PFAS is a dangerous toxic chemical that we can potentially come into contact with every day through the use of various everyday household products, as well as with our drinking water and food.
PFAS is also sometimes called a “forever chemical” because it does not break down naturally, and we do not know of a way to destroy it. Therefore, PFAS can potentially contaminate our environment and food forever.
PFAS is also water-soluble, which means it can easily leach from affected sites, such as military bases and landfills, contaminate our soil and drinking water supply. New data reveals a shocking 1,582 sites in 49 states currently identified as PFAS polluted, including military bases, municipal water supplies, and others.
There is mounting evidence that exposure to PFAS is hazardous to humans, as according to the CDC, the substance can interfere with the body’s hormones and immune system and may play a role in certain cancers.
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What Does PFAS Do to Your Body?
PFAS can do several things to our bodies. Once we have come into contact with the chemical, particularly when we ingest it, PFAS can potentially remain in our bodies for a very long time and accumulate over time. This makes this group of toxic chemicals very concerning for our health.
Research is still needed on all the effects that these toxic chemicals can have on our bodies. According to the CDC, animal studies indicate that PFAS can cause changes in the function of the liver, thyroid, pancreas, and hormone levels.
While animals and humans may process toxic chemicals differently, there could be some similarities to what PFAS does to human bodies. The CDC found that exposure to PFAS in humans may also cause hormone problems and interfere with several functions of the body. The chemical may also cause cancer in humans.
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Does PFAS Contamination Cause Cancer?
The evidence points to PFAS contamination contributing to certain cancers, however, research regarding the effect of this toxic chemical on the human body is still in its infancy. According to the EPA, PFAS can have a number of adverse health effects on humans, including a suppressed immune system, hormonal problems, low infant birth weights, and cancer.
According to a study published by the NCBI, a high concentration of the toxic chemical PFOA (a type of PFAS) in the blood of residents in a community contaminated with PFOA is linked to certain cancers such as testicular, kidney, prostate, and others.
If you have high blood levels of PFAS and suffer from any type of cancer, you can speak to a PFAS class action lawsuit lawyer. Research about this toxic chemical and its cancer-causing effects in humans is evolving constantly, and you could receive compensation for any medical bills as well as physical pain and suffering.
What Cancers Are Linked to PFAS?
Several cancers may be linked to PFAS. A study published by the NCBI involving more than 25,000 cancer sufferers in Ohio and West Virginia, in an area where the drinking water is polluted with PFOA (a type of PFAS), showed a link between PFOA and cancer.
The study concluded that elevated PFOA blood levels may be associated with several cancers, such as:
- Bladder Cancer
- Blood Cancer (any leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma)
- Breast Cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Thyroid Cancer
There may also be links to other serious illnesses, such as:
- Thyroid (hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, Hashimoto’s, Grave’s, Goiter, thyroid nodules)
- Ulcerative Colitis
Research looking at the health effects of PFAS on humans is still developing.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified PFOA as possibly carcinogenic to humans based on some evidence that the toxic chemical can cause testicular and kidney cancer. The EPA also mentions evidence linking PFAS to animal tumors and cancers in humans.
Can PFAS Cause Breast Cancer?
There is a distinct possibility that exposure to PFAS contributes to causing breast cancer. Exposure to high concentrations of PFAS and other toxic chemicals in this group is linked to several adverse health effects in humans and laboratory animals, including cancers.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), exposure to PFAS, even at pretty low doses, can change the structure and growth of mammary glands in young girls during puberty, which has the potential to increase the risk of developing breast cancer. A study published by the NCBI further asserts that perfluorinated compounds (a type of PFAS chemical) in the blood of cancer sufferers are linked to developing breast cancers.
Early-life exposure to PFAS can disrupt hormones and have a suppressive effect on the immune system which can further increase a person’s chances of suffering from breast cancer during their lifetime. Overall, the evidence for a link between PFAS and breast cancer seems to be mounting.
Can PFAS Cause Kidney Cancer?
There is mounting evidence that PFAS can cause kidney cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, kidney cancer is one of the most common cancers and can affect both men and women.
A study published by the NCBI, looking at several epidemiologic and toxicological studies, established that PFAS can be detrimental to kidney health. Exposure to the toxic chemical can also generally lower kidney function. PFAS is known to cause liver problems and tumors in laboratory animals. A study also revealed a link between kidney cancer deaths and PFOA (a type of PFAS) in the blood of chemical plant workers.
If you are suffering from liver cancer, or any other cancer, and elevated PFAS levels in your blood, you may be able to join a PFAS class action lawsuit and could receive compensation. We can fight for you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and find out how you could get justice and compensation for your suffering.
Can PFAS Cause Testicular Cancer?
Exposure to PFAS and similar chemicals may cause testicular cancer. Testicular cancer can affect a man at any age, but according to the Urology Care Foundation, it is more common in men between the ages of 15-44. The American Cancer Society mentions a link between PFAS exposure and testicular cancer in humans as well as laboratory animals.
Studies showing tangible links between testicular cancer and PFAS are beginning to emerge. A study examining cancers in adults living near a chemical plant concluded that PFOA (a type of PFAS chemical) concentrations in blood showed an association with testicular cancer occurring in the individuals. Meanwhile, lawsuits initiated by testicular cancer sufferers who suffered exposure to the toxic forever chemical are mounting.
Can PFAS Cause Ovarian Cancer?
A link between PFAS exposure and ovarian cancer is likely. PFAS can disrupt human function and suppress immune systems, both of which can potentially contribute to developing ovarian cancer.
According to a study published by the NCBI, which investigated cancer in residents near a DuPont Teflon manufacturing plant, high PFAS blood levels are likely associated with ovarian cancer. In these cancer cases, the residents had been drinking water contaminated with toxic forever chemicals for years.
Ovarian cancer is also called the “silent killer,” as it can spread undetected for a very long time. Detecting ovarian cancer at a later stage can make it difficult to treat and cure. Surgery, as well as chemotherapy, can treat this type of cancer.
Costly and painful treatments, as well as potentially having increased medical needs in the future, can be a frightening prospect for ovarian cancer sufferers. If you or a loved one are suffering from ovarian cancer due to exposure to toxic PFAS, you can speak to a PFAS class action lawyer to find out if you could get compensation.
Can PFAS Cause Liver Cancer?
PFAS seems to play a role in causing liver cancer, as well as other cancers. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), laboratory animals exposed to high levels of PFAS showed changes in liver function.
A study published by the NCBI investigated a group of employees that worked for at least six months in a factory producing PFOA and PFOS, both chemicals in the PFAS family. The study concluded that there was increased mortality from liver cancer and liver cirrhosis in the group of studied workers, which researchers attributed to elevated PFAS levels in the blood.
Liver cancer can be difficult to cure as it is typically detected in a later stage. Surgery can be impossible due to the makeup of the liver. Treatment may focus on keeping patients stable and comfortable while trying to extend their lives. If you are suffering from liver cancer due to forever toxins in your blood, you may have legal recourse.
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What Are the Side Effects of PFAS?
There can be many side effects from exposure to PFAS, the toxic forever chemical. According to the EPA, there is evidence that PFAS can cause illnesses and have adverse effects on the health of humans as well as animals.
The EPA further states that some of the adverse health effects found in humans include increased cholesterol levels, low birth weights, effects on the immune system, hyper or hypothyroid, and cancer. Since PFAS can be in so many of our personal products, household furnishings, as well as in our water, we can be exposed to this toxic chemical via numerous ways. Even flossing our teeth can expose us to PFAS.
PFAS has the potential to accumulate and persist not only in our environment but also in our bodies. We rely on further research to find out more about the effects this toxic forever chemical has on our health. It is likely that we may learn about many other side effects of these chemicals in the future.
Can PFAS Be Removed from the Body?
You might be interested in finding out whether there are any ways that PFAS could be removed from the body. Unfortunately, to date, there are no known medical procedures that can remove PFAS from your body or accelerate their removal, according to the NCBI.
PFAS is also called the “forever chemical” since these chemicals persist in our environment potentially forever and can remain in our bodies for a very long time indeed, potentially causing health problems.
While PFAS may not stay in our bodies at high concentrations forever, these chemicals have a tendency to remain in our bodies for a long time as they have a relatively long half-life. It takes approximately four years for PFAS levels to go down by half in the human body, even if you are no longer exposed to the chemical, according to the ATSDR. Your best protection against PFAS is to eliminate any possible sources of exposure, especially by avoiding contaminated drinking water.
Are PFAS Absorbed Through the Skin?
While there is evidence that PFAS-type chemicals are somewhat absorbed through the skin, the rate of absorption is, in fact, minimal and, according to the ATSDR, no real cause for concern. Studies have shown that only small amounts of PFAS chemicals are absorbed through showering and bathing and that this does not increase PFAS levels in the human body significantly. The same is true for washing dishes in water with higher PFAS concentrations.
Ingestion of any contaminated food or water remains one of the main ways how PFAS can get into the body, as is eating fish from contaminated bodies of water. You can ask your local health department about the safety of your drinking water.
If you wonder whether your adverse health conditions are linked to PFAS-contaminated water and food, you may be able to hold a PFAS manufacturer or polluter to account by joining or initiating a PFAS class-action lawsuit. Contact Pintas and Mullins Law Firm now to find out more.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Exposed to PFAS?
If you endured exposure to PFAS and suffer from any adverse health effects, you should see your primary medical provider as a first step. Your doctor can run a blood test to find out about the level of concentration of any harmful forever chemicals in your blood.
Bear in mind that almost all of us have some level of these harmful chemicals in our blood. Getting a result showing that you have PFAS in your blood does not have to mean that you will get sick.
However, if you already experienced any cancers or other illnesses that could be linked to a high exposure to any toxic forever chemicals, you could potentially get help with your medical expenses and other costs. It can be in your best interests to speak to a PFAS class action lawsuit lawyer who can help you determine your options for potentially initiating any legal action.
What Are the Health Risks of PFAS?
There are many health risks associated with exposure to PFAS, the toxic forever chemical. Some studies on laboratory animals showed that high doses of PFAS have a detrimental effect on liver, thyroid, and pancreatic function. PFAS also has the potential to cause negative effects on reproduction and development in animals. It also interfered with the animals’ hormone production and caused tumors.
In humans, PFAS might increase cholesterol levels, disrupt normal hormone production, and negatively affect the immune system. PFAS exposure may cause certain cancers, such as testicular, liver, ovarian, breast, and liver cancers, among others. According to the EPA, the accumulative effects of PFAS in our bodies can increase the risk of suffering from any adverse health effects over time.
According to the ATSDR, we need more research to understand all the adverse health effects that PFAS exposure can have on humans. We may, in due course, find out that PFAS is the cause of many more adverse health effects.
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Are Military Sites Contaminated with PFAS?
There is ample evidence of contamination with PFAS at many military sites and that people who live and work on military bases may be exposed to toxic forever chemicals such as PFAS. The list of contaminated sites seems to be growing, with the EWG stating that hundreds of military sites may be contaminated with PFAS. Some of the installations’ groundwater showed particularly high concentrations of the chemical.
This can come as devastating news to those families who have lived on these sites for many years or even decades and now worry whether they consumed contaminated water for many years and what effect this might have on their health.
If you have lived on a contaminated military base, you can get your blood tested for PFAS levels and speak to your doctor. Exposure to PFAS may have influenced any health conditions you developed. You might also be able to take legal action with a PFAS class-action lawsuit.
Which Military Sites Have Been Contaminated with PFAS?
A high number of military sites may have been contaminated with PFAS, the highly toxic “forever chemical.” The EWG states that the problem is much more widespread than was previously thought, with the Pentagon estimating that more than 600 military sites and surrounding communities could be PFAS contaminated.
The EWG confirmed PFAS in drinking water at over 700 military sites. The organization states that many communities near these military sites continue to drink contaminated water to this day. If you live on any of the contaminated military facilities mentioned, you can reduce your PFAS exposure by installing filters or using bottled water.
If you lived on one of the contaminated sites and developed cancer or another illness that can be traced to PFAS exposure, you might be able to join in a PFAS class-action lawsuit.
How Many Military Sites Are Exposed to PFAS?
It can be difficult to find out exactly how many military sites are exposed to PFAS contamination. As of early 2020, the number of confirmed and suspected contaminated military installations in the U.S. is 678, according to the EWG’s updated report. At least 28 military bases showed levels of PFAS above limits set by some state regulators, according to the report. The pollution at military bases occurred due to the use of firefighting foam containing the toxic PFAS.
Many servicemen, servicewomen, and their families were potentially exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals in the soil and drinking water at military bases for many years and may suffer from adverse health effects now.
If you or a member of your family suffer from any health problems, such as cancer, that could be linked to years of PFAS exposure, you could be entitled to compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now for your free consultation.
What Is a Superfund Site?
A superfund site is a site that is considerably contaminated with hazardous substances, for example, PFAS. Superfund sites can be several different installations, such as manufacturing facilities, landfills, processing plants, and mining sites, according to the EPA. The EPA’s superfund program aims to clean up some of the U.S.’s most polluted sites to protect the environment and public health.
Superfund is the informal name for The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), which aims to hold polluters responsible and clean up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. According to the EPA, a superfund allows the EPA to clean up contaminated sites and forces the parties responsible for the contamination to perform cleanups or reimburse the government for any cleanup work.
While there are currently no PFAS superfund sites, and PFAS is not yet declared hazardous, the EPA is considering adding PFAS-contaminated sites to its cleanup program.
How Many Military Sites Are Superfund Sites?
A considerable amount of military sites are superfund sites. The superfund program started in 1980 with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Superfund sites are contaminated by hazardous material, and the EPA has the task of determining what a superfund site is.
Numerous military sites are superfund sites, and there is the potential for many more such sites once high PFAS pollution sites are declared superfund sites in the future. If you lived on or near a military base and want to find out whether it is a superfund site, you can look this up on the EPA’s website of superfund sites.
There could be many potential health risks associated with superfund sites depending on the contaminants. If you suffer from any adverse health effects from exposure to hazardous materials, for example, PFAS, you should consult with your doctor. You may also wish to speak to a lawyer as you may have legal options.
Does Groundwater Contain PFAS?
Groundwater can contain PFAS, especially near contaminated sites such as military bases and factories that manufactured the chemical. In fact, exposure through drinking water is one of the main ways in which PFAS can enter the human body. According to the Groundwater Association (NGWA), an estimated 15 million people have a higher concentration of PFAS in their bodies than the EPA’s lifetime health advisory level.
If you want to find out whether your drinking water contains PFAS, you have the option of testing your well or tap water. If you are worried that you might have ingested potentially unsafe levels of PFAS with your drinking water and believe that you have suffered adverse health effects or serious illness as a result, you may have legal recourse. Speaking to a PFAS class action lawsuit lawyer can help you gain clarity. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for your free no-obligation consultation.
Does Boiling Water Get Rid of PFAS?
If you are wondering whether boiling water can get rid of PFAS, this is not the case. Boiling water to remove toxic chemicals will not work at all. In fact, the opposite happens with the boiling process actually concentrating the amount of PFAS in water, according to Rhode Island’s Department of Health. While you can kill most bacteria by boiling water, which is why we get boil-water notices when an unacceptable level of bacteria has entered the water supply, this does not work with toxic chemicals.
A better way to reduce your exposure to PFAS can be to drink bottled water or tap water that is regularly tested for PFAS. In order to remove PFAS from tap water, you would need to use special types of filters. Unfortunately, ingesting too much water containing PFAS may put you and your family at a higher risk for several diseases and possibly cancer. It can be important for your health to keep informed about your local drinking water quality.
How Do You Remove PFAS from Drinking Water?
It is potentially possible to remove PFAS from drinking water by filtration. The Department of Environment, Great Lake and Energy Michigan PFAS Action Response Team recommends two types of filtration systems that are suitable for the removal of PFAS from drinking water: a granular activated carbon filter and a reverse osmosis filter. Both of these filters are able to reduce the amounts of PFAS and some other contaminants in drinking water, making it safer for human consumption.
While non-certified filters may also lower the concentration of PFAS in water, it is important to choose a certified filter that is tested by a third party and compliant with NSF Standard P473 to ensure that it performs well. The packaging of the filters typically contains information about certifications.
There are many other types of water filters on the market; however, they have not shown to be particularly effective in reducing the amounts of PFAS in drinking water.
Which Water Filter Removes the Most Contaminants?
Knowing which water filter removes the most contaminants can be important for your health and the health of your entire family. Unfortunately, there is no perfect filter, as no filter has the ability to remove all contaminants. There are many filtration systems on the market, and prices vary enormously. It can be quite a challenge to determine which one suits the needs of you and your family best. Many filters that remove toxic chemicals, such as PFAS, may not remove other contaminants that may be of concern to you, such as germs.
The CDC recommends assessing your requirements carefully and mentions selecting an NSF-certified filter. If your main concern is removing toxic chemicals such as PFAS and others, a reverse osmosis unit may be a good choice. However, reverse osmosis will not remove all organic and inorganic contaminants and may not be the best choice if you have children, as it also removes fluoride from water.
Do Brita Filters Remove PFAS?
If you have a Brita filter at home, you might wonder whether this type of filter is sufficient to remove PFAS from drinking water. Brita filters are a type of activated carbon filter that can reduce certain contaminants such as mercury, cadmium, and copper. A Brita filter can also remove an unpleasant chlorine smell and taste.
However, Brita and similar water pitcher brands cannot remove toxic chemicals such as PFAS. Your best bet for removing PFAS is either a granular activated carbon filter or a reverse osmosis filter. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided a list of filters that are tested and certified to reduce the concentration of PFAS in drinking water.
A study by Duke University concluded that an under the sink reverse osmosis filter is the most effective system for removing PFAS and other toxic chemicals from drinking water. This type of filter is capable of removing 94% of PFAS from water, according to the study.
Does a Water Filter Remove PFAS?
There are some water filters that can successfully reduce and almost remove PFAS from drinking water. However, there is no water filter currently on the market that can eliminate the presence of PFAS in drinking water entirely.
If you have reason to worry about PFAS, the forever chemical, in your drinking water, you may want to invest in an under the sink reverse osmosis filter. According to a recent study by Duke University, a reverse osmosis system is the most efficient type of filter for removing PFAS from water.
There are other types of filters that can reduce the concentration of PFAS in your tap water, such as a granular activated carbon filter. It can be a good idea to read the packaging of any filters you are thinking of buying to make sure you are getting the correct filter for your needs. The packaging typically states the contaminants that a particular filter can remove from water.
How Do I Know If There Are PFAS in My Drinking Water?
How Do I Know If There Are PFAS in My Drinking Water?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to know whether there are chemicals such as PFAS in your drinking water. PFAS cannot be tasted, smelled, or seen in water. The only way to know for sure whether your drinking water contains any PFAS is to actually test the water.
If you live near a known contamination site or have any type of concern with your tap water or well, it might be a good idea to have your water tested by an EPA-approved laboratory.
If you find out that your water is contaminated with PFAS, you may understandably be concerned about your health and the health of other family members. Perhaps you or a loved one suffered from diseases that you suspect may be due to PFAS exposure from drinking water. You may qualify for joining a PFAS class-action lawsuit. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to find out if you could hold a PFAS manufacturer to account: (800) 788-4155.
Can PFAS Be Filtered Out of Drinking Water?
PFAS can be filtered out of drinking water by various methods. While these methods of filtration do not entirely remove all traces of PFAS, they can reduce the amount of the toxic chemical significantly and virtually remove the risks associated with exposure to the chemical through tap water.
It is highly unlikely that your typical fridge water pitcher filter will do the trick, however, and getting a good filtration system installed in your house can be pricey. According to a recent Duke University study, the most successful water filter when it comes to filtering out toxic chemicals such as PFAS is a reverse osmosis system that fits under your sink.
The next closest system that could reduce PFAS is an activated carbon filter. The results with activated carbon filters varied widely.
How Do I Test My Water for PFAS?
If you have any concerns regarding the safety of your drinking water, you can test your water for PFAS concentration by using an EPA-approved laboratory. A lab will then most likely send you a sampling kit by mail which allows you to collect samples and ship them back to the laboratory.
If you find out that you have a high amount of PFAS in your drinking water, you can then take steps to reduce the health risks for yourself and your family. You may wish to purchase a reverse osmosis filter for your house or decide to drink and cook with bottled water, for example.
Showering or bathing in water most likely does not cause undue exposure to the chemical, as only very little is absorbed through the skin. The same is true for washing your clothes or dishes in water with elevated concentrations of PFAS. Ingesting it through drinking or eating contaminated substances remains the main health concern regarding PFAS.
PFAS, the dangerous toxic forever chemical, may require laboratory testing from EPA-approved facilities in order to determine if it is in your drinking water at home, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
What Compensation Can I Get if I Sue for PFAS Damages?
If you decide to file a lawsuit for PFAS damages, you could receive compensation. While every case is different and it can be difficult to generalize, you could potentially receive a number of compensatory damages in a case against a PFAS manufacturer and potentially other responsible parties.
In a PFAS class action lawsuit, you could be one of many plaintiffs. Generally, plaintiffs will receive the same amounts in a settlement, regardless of the severity of their injuries, although there can be exceptions. However, some recent settlements in PFAS class action lawsuits have been substantial. In 2017, DuPont paid out over $600 million in damages to 3,500 plaintiffs in a PFAS class-action lawsuit.
If your injuries or medical conditions are severe, you could potentially file a personal injury lawsuit and might receive compensation for medical bills and other expenses. You could also receive compensation for any pain and suffering, whether emotional or physical. Speaking to a PFAS class action lawsuit lawyer can help you to find out what types of compensation you could receive.
What Does the EPA Say About PFAS?
The EPA says there is evidence that humans who are exposed to PFAS and related chemicals can suffer from adverse health effects. According to the EPA, chemicals from the PFAS family show detrimental effects on the health of laboratory animals resulting in reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in these animals. The chemicals also caused tumors in animals.
The EPA mentions several effects that PFAS and chemicals in this group can have on humans, for example, increased cholesterol levels, low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer, and thyroid problems.
The EPA is drawing attention to the fact that PFAS is present in many drinking water supplies due to localized contamination and that local agencies need to take appropriate actions to protect residents. The EPA has issued a health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion for PFAS and related chemicals in drinking water.
What Household Products Contain PFAS?
A large number of household products potentially contain PFAS. PFAS is found in non-stick cookware, textiles, varnishes, cleaners, and personal care products, putting consumers at risk of exposure to the harmful chemical. Food packaging can be a particular concern in the household, as PFAS is potentially absorbed by the stored food and consequently ingested. Sadly, it is almost impossible to avoid exposure to PFAS as it can be found in so many products that we use on a daily basis.
However, you can take some precautions to limit your exposure to potentially toxic household products. You can read consumer product labels carefully and avoid those with PFAS, for example. Using all-natural cleaners by reputable companies can help to avoid unnecessary chemicals such as PFAS. There are also several simple natural cleaning and household products, such as white wine vinegar and baking soda, that make the use of too many chemicals around the home unnecessary.
Are PFAS in Bottled Water?
Unfortunately, PFAS is in some bottled water, and contamination depends on the source of the water. In 2019, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts released a statement warning consumers of the presence of PFAS in some bottled drinking water. The statement advised that pregnant women, nursing mothers, and infants should not consume this certain type of bottled spring water.
Many of us buy bottled water, thinking that it is a healthier alternative to tap water. It can come as a shock when you find out that you were possibly harming your health instead of drinking water that is potentially laced with toxic chemicals.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has recognized the problem and now requires its members to test their water for PFAS. It has also set operational limits for PFAS contamination that are substantially below the limits set by the EPA. However, not all U.S. manufacturers of bottled water are members of the IBWA.
What Is the Class Action Lawsuit Against PFAS?
Since PFAS is a toxic chemical that has been used widely and by many different companies since the 1940s, there is no one class-action lawsuit against PFAS. However, there have been several high-profile class-action lawsuits in the last few years, with new lawsuits against PFAS manufacturers being filed constantly.
There is also a PFAS mass tort lawsuit targeting several manufacturers of PFAS, including 3M, DuPont, Solvay, and others, which is potentially open to any U.S. individuals who have a detectable concentration of PFAS in their blood and claim to have injuries from PFAS exposure.
In addition to these lawsuits, many states and municipal governments have lawsuits filed and have settled against PFAS manufacturers and other responsible parties for polluting water supplies and the environment, with some already calling PFAS the “new asbestos.”
Can I File a PFAS Lawsuit?
You may be able to file a PFAS lawsuit if you have been diagnosed with any cancers that are attributable to exposure to PFAS chemicals.
Exposure to PFAS is linked to a number of adverse health effects, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, hyper or hypothyroidism, ulcerative colitis, and preeclampsia, among others. There are currently thousands of lawsuits pending against PFAS manufacturers.
If you or a loved one are suffering from any adverse health effects due to PFAS exposure, you could file a PFAS lawsuit and potentially receive compensation for your damages.
There are many parties responsible and liable for PFAS exposure, and these lawsuits are complex as well as lengthy. Speaking to a PFAS lawyer can help you weigh your legal options and move forward with any claims.
You may be able to join a PFAS lawsuit if you have this toxic chemical in your blood. There are several class-action lawsuits and mass tort litigation ongoing against the manufacturers of PFAS, including Ohio and South Carolina.
According to Circle of Blue, there has been a wave of litigation from individuals exposed to these chemicals now searching for compensation. This includes class action lawsuits in several states as well as nationwide claims.
If you or a loved one have ingested PFAS contaminated water and have been diagnosed with cancer or other serious health issues, you may be able to join a PFAS lawsuit. If you do not know where to turn, we can help. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to determine whether you qualify for a PFAS lawsuit.
What Should I Do If I or a Loved One Were Affected By PFAS?
If you or a loved one believe that you were affected by PFAS exposure, your first step might be to consult with your doctor and find out whether they may be able to detect a link between any illnesses and PFAS exposure. Your doctor could order a blood test, for instance, to determine your blood content of PFAS. Your doctor might also be able to offer an opinion as to whether any conditions could be related to exposure to toxic chemicals.
Keep any documentation such as medical reports and blood work relating to illnesses and PFAS safe and accessible in case you might later decide to file a claim or join in a PFAS class action lawsuit.
If you do have a detectable amount of PFAS in your blood and suffer from any conditions that may be related to this exposure, your next best step could be talking to a PFAS class action lawsuit lawyer to find out what your legal options are.
What Does it Cost to Hire a PFAS Attorney?
If you are thinking of filing a claim against a PFAS manufacturer or other liable parties, you might worry about the cost of hiring a PFAS attorney. With a PFAS class-action lawsuit, the cost for the attorney is generally spread out among all plaintiffs. Typically, a court will determine court costs and attorney’s fees and how they should be paid.
There are usually no up-front attorney’s fees for such cases, as the attorneys usually take their fee from any settlement recovered. Therefore, joining in with a PFAS class-action lawsuit should not cost you anything out of your own pocket, as any fees should come out of the general settlement for all plaintiffs.
Sometimes, the defendant is ordered to pay for the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees and court costs. If a class-action lawsuit is lost, the lawyers typically do not receive any compensation as they usually work on a contingency basis. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now if you have any questions regarding PFAS lawsuits.
What Else Should I Know About PFAS?
There seems to be some tentative good news about PFAS exposure in recent years. According to the ATSDR, the production and industrial use of PFAS declined since 2002. The blood levels of PFAS in the population seem to be on the decline as well, judging by figures by the ATSDR which show a decrease of 80% in PFOS (a type of PFAS) blood levels between 1999-2014. Blood levels of PFAS also decreased in people who were exposed to PFAS and then installed a drinking water filter system.
While this is potentially good news for all of us, it may not help those who have already suffered from cancer and any other adverse health effects from exposure to PFAS in previous years. If you suffered any damage to your health by exposure to PFAS, help may be available. You could be part of a PFAS lawsuit and recover compensation that can help you with medical costs.
What Does the FDA Say About PFAS?
What the FDA has to say about PFAS mainly concentrates on amounts of the toxic chemical found in any food. The FDA authorized the use of certain PFAS in food packaging, cookware, and processing.
The FDA states that it is mainly focused on assessing foods for potential environmental contamination with PFAS chemicals, as well as reviewing the authorized use of PFAS in food contact applications such as packaging.
PFAS can enter the food chain through soil or water contamination. The FDA is concerned with making sure there is no food contamination with forever chemicals such as PFAS. The FDA also concedes that although it allows the use of certain PFAS chemicals in food packaging, the chemicals may leak into the food. The agency states that it is constantly working with scientists, following the latest research, and can revoke authorized uses of PFAS when it is no longer considered safe by new research.
Where Do PFAS Chemicals Come From?
PFAS chemicals can come from a multitude of sources. In fact, it is almost impossible to avoid the toxic chemical. Some of the biggest sources of PFAS, according to the EPA, are PFAS manufacturing and processing facilities, airports, and military installations that use firefighting foam containing PFAS.
PFAS can be released into the air, soil, and even our drinking water. However, PFAS chemicals are also used in food packaging, in particular, to coat cardboard or paper boxes to make them grease and water-resistant. PFAS can leak into food through these coatings. PFAS also used to be an ingredient in Teflon, and if you have any older Teflon cookware around the house (made up until 2013), it likely contains a small amount of the chemical.
PFAS chemicals can also be present in furnishings, carpets, and textiles, in order to make them stain and water-resistant. The use of PFAS in the U.S. phased out in the last few years.
Where Does PFAS Contamination Originate?
PFAS contamination can originate on a number of sites. PFAS chemicals are a group of manmade substances invented in the 1930s for use in non-stick and waterproof coatings. They quickly gained popularity several decades later with the discovery that PFAS can easily extinguish fires, particularly petroleum and fuel blazes. As a result, firefighting foam containing PFAS was subsequently used at military bases, on ships, and at airports.
As PFAS became popular in many other applications and products, contamination with PFAS also happened in manufacturing plants and other industrial facilities. Factories exposed workers and surrounding communities to harmful concentrations of PFAS. Consumers of the end products laced with PFAS may have come into contact with the chemical.
In recent years, it has become more and more obvious that PFAS are a group of highly toxic chemicals that accumulate in the environment as well as human bodies, potentially causing a number of adverse health effects.
How Can I Reduce My PFAS?
You can reduce your exposure to PFAS by taking some preventative steps to minimize exposure to the toxic chemical. If you live in an area where the water supply contains higher concentrations of PFAS, you may wish to install a filter system in your house that can effectively remove most of the chemicals from your water, such as a reverse osmosis system.
In order to minimize your exposure to potential PFAS in food packaging, you may wish to use glass or BPA-free containers for food storage and bring your own containers if you are purchasing take-out food. Almost all of us suffered exposure to PFAS to some degree, and while low amounts may not cause any significant health problems, it is always a good idea to minimize our exposure to toxic chemicals.
If you have suffered from any diseases that may be due to PFAS exposure, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and find out if you could receive compensation.
Is PFAS a Carcinogen?
While there is mounting evidence that PFAS is a carcinogen, it has not formally been labeled as one to date. Health and environmental officials are stopping short of calling PFAS a carcinogen, as research linking PFAS to cancer in humans is still in its infancy.
However, agencies such as the ATSDR state that the toxic chemical may increase the risk of some cancers, and there are several studies that show a link between increased blood levels of PFAS and certain types of cancer.
One study showing a link was published by the NCBI. The study asserts that PFAS concentration in blood is associated with developing kidney and testicular cancers. The focus of the study was a group of individuals who lived near and worked at a plant that produced PFAS.
According to the American Cancer Society, the IARC classified the chemical as a “possible carcinogenic.” However, future research may determine more links between cancer in humans and PFAS.
How Do I Protect Myself from PFAS?
Protecting yourself from PFAS can be difficult, with the chemical present in so many products that we use daily, including cookware, food packaging, carpets, and many others. However, some sources of PFAS pollution may be more concerning than others. If you live near a known contamination site or military base, you might want to check with your local authority whether your drinking water shows elevated levels of PFAS. If so, you can protect yourself by investing in a water filter that can filter out any toxic chemicals, such as PFAS.
You might also wish to pass on any optional stain-repellent treatment on soft furnishings, as these can contain PFAS. Choosing personal care products that do not contain PFAS can also be a good way to protect yourself. Instead of using dental floss with an artificial coating, which could contain PFAS, you might want to opt for using one with beeswax.
What Are Toxic Forever Chemicals?
“Toxic forever chemicals” is a term applied to a certain group of chemicals, including PFAS, that cannot be destroyed and have the potential to linger in our environment forever and stay in our bodies for a very long time. They can also accumulate and persist in the environment, as PFAS does not break down naturally. The chemicals take a very long time to move out of our bodies.
What makes forever chemicals particularly concerning is that they are water-soluble and, therefore, can easily move around in the environment. Contaminated sites can leak PFAS into the soil and the surrounding groundwater, potentially polluting entire communities’ drinking water supplies.
Although some of the forever chemicals are now no longer manufactured in the U.S., their longevity in the environment and our bodies means that we will most likely have to deal with the consequences of toxic forever chemical pollution for years to come.
What Is a Safe Level of PFAS?
If you have had any exposure to PFAS, you might wonder about what a safe level of PFAS is. While there is no established safe or unsafe level of PFAS, adverse health effects are found in those who ingested or inhaled PFAS over a relatively long period of time and at higher concentrations than most of the population would experience. This includes workers at chemical and industrial plants where PFAS was produced.
In recent years, the EPA published a lifetime health advisory for PFAS in water, with 4 parts per trillion considered a safe level. However, according to the EWG, scientists recommended safe levels for PFOA (a type of PFAS) in drinking water that are 200 times below the EPA’s 70 parts per trillion guideline.
A recent case study in Environmental Health highlighted the problem that more research is needed and that although guideline values for PFAS in drinking water have been lowered over time, they most likely are still too high to protect us against toxicity.
How Much Does it Cost to Test for PFAS?
You may want to find out the cost of testing for PFAS. If you live in an area where pollution with PFAS is likely, such as a military site or near a factory used to make PFAS, you may wish to test your water for the contaminant. There are several laboratories that you can use to test your water. The pricing can vary from one laboratory to the next. According to the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team, costs to have your water tested can range from around $300-$600 per sample.
Getting your blood tested for PFAS can be somewhat challenging as this is not a routine clinical test. You may need to contact a private laboratory. Insurance is unlikely to cover the costs of PFAS testing. Your healthcare provider should be able to direct you to a laboratory and may be able to inform you about the costs associated with a PFAS test.
We Can Help
So-called “forever chemicals,” such as PFAS and others, can remain in our bodies for a long time and have the potential to cause havoc with our health.
If you suffered from any cancers or other illnesses due to PFAS exposure, we can help. You may be able to get justice and compensation. You could have also suffered exposure to high levels of PFAS through contaminated drinking water containing a considerable amount of the toxic chemical. If you worked for a PFAS manufacturer or as a firefighter using foam containing PFAS on a regular basis and then developed cancer, you might have a case.
If you subsequently developed a serious illness and believe that PFAS played a role, talk to us today.
We can discuss your specific case with you and determine whether you could initiate or join a PFAS lawsuit to get compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. We can work on all aspects of your case and collect evidence, as well as obtain expert witness testimony if needed.
You do not need to worry about any upfront attorney’s fees or other costs, as we only get paid when we win your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now to speak to one of our team members and find out how you can get justice and compensation.
Household Products That Contain PFAS
Many of our everyday household items contain the harmful chemical PFAS. The chemical can be found in items that we use on a daily basis in our kitchens and with food preparation. For example, it can be found in non-stick cookware and food packaging, such as pizza boxes and candy wrappers.
According to the CDC, any stain-resistant coatings on carpet, upholstery, and other fabrics can also potentially contain PFAS. Paints, varnishes, and sealants may also contain the toxic chemical.
Cosmetic and other personal care products can also contain PFAS. The chemical was detected in a number of products, including make-up, shampoo, sunscreen, and shaving cream, according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.
Although the U.S. has now phased out the production of some PFAS, there are many products that can still potentially contain the toxic chemical and other similar compounds. Research is still outstanding on how much influence exposure to PFAS from consumer products has on our health.
Is Teflon a PFAS?
Teflon did contain a type of PFAS up until 2013. Teflon coating has been in use since the 1940s in order to make pots and pans non-stick and, therefore, easier to cook with and clean. Teflon is actually the brand name for a chemical coating that contains a chemical from the same group of toxic chemicals as PFAS, called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is no longer manufactured after coming under fire for having potentially serious health consequences.
Non-stick cookware is continuing to be under investigation. However, according to the American Cancer Society, the risk of cancer from Teflon-coated pans is not proven, and while PFOA was used in the manufacturing process, the amount of the chemical in the Teflon-coated end-products is either non-existent or very small.
Today, Teflon products no longer contain any chemicals from the PFAS family, such as PFOA. However, if you still use older pots and pans with Teflon coating, they would be manufactured using PFOA and may contain a small residue of the chemical.
Do Ziploc Bags Contain PFAS?
Ziploc bags should not contain PFAS. However, contamination with the chemical during the manufacturing process may occur since PFAS can play a role in the manufacturing processes of plastic. Although plastic containers and bags do not generally contain PFAS, they may have the potential to leak harmful chemicals into our food.
PFAS is more of a concern in paper products used for food storage, for example, at fast-food restaurants or for take-outs. Paper or cardboard boxes possibly received treatment with PFAS to make them water and oil resistant. Sandwich wrapping, popcorn, french-fry boxes, cake and bakery boxes, and other wrappings may all contain PFAS. Unfortunately, the chemicals can seep from the packaging into the food and, in this way, get into our bodies.
One of the ways in which you can ensure that no harmful chemicals get into any food is to use your own glass containers for food storage and take-out.
Does Nylon Have PFAS?
Nylon products can potentially contain PFAS. While nylon itself, which is a synthetic polymer derived from petroleum sources, does not contain any PFAS, products made with nylon can contain the toxic chemical.
Nylon carpets, for instance, were treated with PFAS for decades in order to make them water and stain resistant. Only recently, five out of 12 carpets sold by U.S. retailers tested positive for containing PFAS.
Many other products containing nylon, such as all types of soft furnishings around the home, including rugs, pillows, couches, and curtains, can potentially all contain the toxic chemical PFAS. Nylon textiles and shoes can also potentially be contaminated with PFAS if they are coated with the chemical for water and stain proofing.
While many nylon products may be safe, especially since the U.S. has been phasing out the use of PFAS chemicals, others may pose a risk, particularly if they were imported from countries where PFAS is still widely used in the industry.
Does Tyvek Contain PFAS?
Tyvek can contain PFAS if it has been coated. Tyvek, a synthetic material made with polyethylene fibers, is a trademark of the company DuPont. Tyvek functions as a weather barrier in construction and can help prevent drafts as well as water damage.
According to DuPont, it is possible to use Tyvek for many applications, including industrial protective clothing and medical packaging, among others. Tyvek envelopes and mailers can be found in most offices today, and the material finds widespread use in arts and crafts projects.
Most Tyvek is safe. However, sometimes Tyvek is coated with PFAS for water and grease resistance. As Tyvek is not only used in the construction industry but also has many other uses, some persons could potentially risk exposure to PFAS when handling Tyvek products.
If you believe work-related exposure to PFAS is responsible for your illness, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and find out if you could take legal action.
Does PVC Pipe Contain PFAS?
PVC pipes can potentially contain or come into contact with PFAS in various ways. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride and is widely used all over the world, particularly for service pipes. PVC finds a multitude of applications inside and outside the home, for example, as insulation for electrical wires. PVC pipes are commonly used in plumbing as well as for main water supply lines.
There is the possibility that PVC pipes can come into contact with PFAS while underground. When a PVC water pipe runs through an area with PFAS contamination in soil, it is possible that the chemical can leach into drinking water through the PVC pipe.
There are some questions regarding the manufacturing process of PVC pipes and potential PFAS contamination. According to the Healthy Building Network, PFAS is widely used in the manufacturing process of PVC pipes. Since PFAS is persistent, toxic, and accumulative, the pipes may contain some PFAS from the manufacturing process.
Does Dental Floss Contain PFAS?
Just like many other personal care products, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, some dental floss can contain PFAS. A study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology in 2019 revealed that flossing with certain types of dental floss, particularly those containing fluorides, can be associated with higher levels of toxic forever chemicals in a person’s body. Several dental flosses, including well-known branded as well as store-brand products, tested positive for fluorine, which is associated with PFAS.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to avoid PFAS and fluorine in dental floss as the coating materials of the dental floss are not always disclosed on the package. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk from dental floss. Since coatings on dental floss are not typically disclosed and can contain PFAS, you may wish to instead opt for uncoated floss. Alternatively, you could choose a floss coated with a natural material, for example, beeswax.
Do All Non-Stick Pans Have PFAS?
While not all non-stick pans contain PFAS, many do, especially if they were manufactured before 2013, when Teflon was no longer manufactured with PFAS.
Although some of the PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the U.S., many other similar chemicals are still used for non-stick cookware. Additionally, it can be difficult to find out which exact chemicals are now in non-stick cookware available on the market. If the cookware is imported from abroad, where these toxic chemicals are still in use, then even a new piece of cookware can potentially be contaminated with PFAS.
If you are worried about PFAS exposure in non-stick cookware, you could try to use alternatives such as cast iron, stainless steel, or ceramic stoneware. There are also some non-stick cookware brands available on the market now that use a ceramic-type coating. Some of these brands market themselves as “green cookware,” free from all PFAS and similar potentially harmful chemicals.
Does Carpet Have PFAS?
Carpet and other soft furnishings in our homes do potentially contain the harmful chemical PFAS, which is typically applied to carpets to make them spill-resistant.
Even though there is a recent effort by several companies in recent years to ban the use of PFAS in carpets, for example, by Lowe’s and The Home Depot, carpets containing PFAS are still on the market and potentially find their way into our homes, offices, and schools.
While carpets containing PFAS are now slowly taken off the market, millions of people potentially risked exposure to the harmful toxin in their homes for many decades.
If you or your loved one are suffering any adverse health effects or conditions due to PFAS in your home furnishings, you may have legal recourse and could potentially join a PFAS class-action lawsuit. If you want to find out whether you could receive compensation, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free case evaluation today.