According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), groundwater does contain PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), where contamination by runoff is possible. The more specific issue at hand is whether your groundwater contains unsafe levels of PFAS or if they have negatively affected your health.
Tackling the issue of groundwater that contains PFAS can be complicated, because PFAS are not currently considered to be hazardous substances under federal law.
The Congressional Research Service notes that PFAS are a vast group of “thousands of diverse chemicals, some of which have been used for decades in an array of industrial, commercial, and U.S. military applications.” In other words, there are so many types of PFAS with different uses that mitigating the potential risks is not something that can happen overnight.
Testing Groundwater for PFAS
When it comes to testing PFAS, only a small group of them are directly linked to potential health risks. Two of the most prominent PFAS in the U.S. were perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), which have been widely phased out.
When it comes to testing groundwater for PFAS, these are generally the type that researchers direct their focus. However, new types of PFAS are still being made.
Safe Drinking Water Act
The Safe Drinking Water Act was established in 1974 and makes up the foundation of what the EPA currently plans to do to take action against potential drinking water contaminants like PFAS. So far, there is no federal regulation concerning the toxicity of any PFAS, so PFAS are not treated like harmful chemicals. The following is the evidence the EPA must find to regulate a contaminant, according to the Congressional Research Service:
- The contaminant could adversely affect people’s health.
- The contaminant can be present in a body of water that is a concern to public health.
- Regulating the contaminant would reduce the risk to public health.
The reality of this process sounds simple, but takes years to divide and conquer. Environmental researchers are currently in the process of carrying out long-term studies before any PFAS are classified as hazardous. In the meantime, millions of Americans continue to live with the unknown exposure to these potentially harmful chemicals.
Risks of Drinking PFAS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says drinking contaminated water is one of the top risks for PFAS contamination in your body. In testing animals against high-level exposure to PFAS, scientists at the CDC report that PFAS could potentially:
- Impede the body’s release of hormones
- Lead to abnormally high cholesterol
- Weaken your immune system
- Put you at an increased risk of cancer
Scientists carrying out these studies still have not reached one conclusive stance on the direct impact of things like drinking water or using household products that contain low levels of PFAS. Animal testing included higher-than-usual exposure to PFAS. There is also no conclusive science on long-term exposure to PFAS, but the immediate risk of high levels of PFAS is clear.
This is why there are more and more class-action lawsuits being filed against companies that use PFAS in production.
Class Action Lawsuits Against PFAS Producers
Class action lawsuits are on the rise for people who previously lived, worked, ate, and drank in or near high-risk PFAS operations. Entire communities are filing against companies that produced PFAS regularly for firefighting foam, household products, food containers, and larger industrial machine work.
Plaintiffs are claiming that these companies and organizations were negligent in their failure to inform the public of the potential risk of PFAS, which regularly contaminates drinking water.
As research continues to uncover the true harm of chemical contamination like PFAS to our drinking water, expect the opportunity for class action lawsuits to hold these corporations accountable. If you became ill due to PFAS exposure from groundwater, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Some financial awards you can earn from a lawsuit include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Medical transportation costs
Lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are waiting to represent your case to earn a settlement or to fight in court to get additional medical costs incurred from treating your health issues after exposure to PFAS. Consult with the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to work with a PFAS lawyer today at (800) 794-0444.