Currently, there are no definitive medical procedures that can clear PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) from the body, according to the Secretary of the United States Navy. However, the best step you can take is to remove the source of the exposure from your environment. While PFAS cannot be removed from the body, you should avoid the following common PFAS containing products:
- Packaged foods: Especially those with oil-repellent coatings, such as microwave popcorn bags, fast-food packages, and wrappers for greasy foods.
- Personal grooming products: PFAS can be found in various personal and cosmetic products, including dental floss, makeup, and facial and body moisturizers.
- Non-stick cookware: If you must continue using non-stick cookware, ensure that it does not heat over 450ºF. Also, keep an eye on it when in use, and make sure to discard it once it begins to wear down.
How PFAS Gets Into the Body
It is difficult to prevent exposure to PFAS since they occur in the environment, and they do not break down easily. As a result, most people are exposed to PFAS through their food or water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Exposure to PFAS could occur through:
- Food: As already established, PFAS can easily get into food since it is present in most food packages, including takeout containers and sandwich wrappers. But that is not the only way. PFAS can also accumulate in high levels in fish, livestock, and soil.
- Drinking water: Studies have shown that drinking water from wells and public water systems sometimes carry high levels of PFAS, especially near military bases and fire stations.
- Water- and stain-proof products: PFAS are used to waterproof clothing items and stain-proof and protect furniture, carpets, and textiles.
- Consumer products: Home care and personal care products can contain high levels of PFAS that can leave you exposed when you use these products.
What To Do If There Are High Levels of PFAS in Your Drinking Water
If you discover that there are high levels of PFAS in your drinking water, do not attempt to boil and drink the water. Doing so will rapidly cause the chemical to become concentrated. Switch to bottled water or other FDA-approved filtration systems that use treatments to remove chemicals. Consider using another safe source of water for brushing, food preparation, and other household activities that involves you ingesting the water.
Health Concerns After Exposure
Because there is not a way to remove PFAS from the body, the chemical might cause health problems if you were exposed to high levels for a prolonged time. Below, we have highlighted a few health issues that the CDC has linked to PFAS:
- Liver damage: The toxicity of the chemical can result in cirrhosis, liver lesions, and impede normal liver functions. The symptoms of liver failure or damage include fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and swelling, itchy skin, chronic fatigue, dark urine, swelling in the ankles and legs, and pale stool color.
- Kidney problems: Exposure to high levels of PFAS can lead to kidney degeneration, kidney failure, and interfere with your overall kidney health and function. Possible symptoms include unexplained shortness of breath, swelling of the ankles, legs, and feet due to fluid retention, pain or pressure in the chest, chronic nausea, and seizures.
- Cancer: Laboratory research shows that PFAS can induce tumors in animals, which leads experts to believe it is a human carcinogen. Further studies also show that it can lead to kidney and testicular cancer.
- Harm the immune system: The immune system can be greatly compromised, which can make you susceptible to autoimmune disorders, blood disorders or abnormalities, and digestive problems.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Might be Able to Help
If you sustained injuries due to PFAS exposure, we might be able to help you recover damages. We are a personal injury law firm that helps clients compensation for their losses, including:
- Hospital bills
- Medical transportation costs
- Treatment costs
- Ongoing care costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
Call us now at (800) 788-4155 to discuss your case in a free consultation with a member of our team. We operate on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to pay anything out of pocket when we represent you. We get paid when your case results in a monetary reward.