According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS chemicals, are a risk factor for certain types of cancers—in other words, PFAS chemicals are carcinogens. According to the American Cancer Society, certain PFAS chemicals linked to cancer include:
- A variety of GenX chemicals, which generally contain HFPO dimer acid and its ammonium salt (per the Environmental Protection Agency)
- Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
- Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS)
While further study remains to be done, there is a variety of research indicating that PFAS chemicals can cause significant health complications, possibly including various cancers.
PFAS Chemicals Stay in the Body
Some PFAS chemicals are also known as forever chemicals, according to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), because neither the body nor the natural environment breaks them down, and so the chemicals may accumulate over time.
The same unchanging chemical state that allows PFAS chemicals to resist high levels of heat (Teflon in pans and other kitchenware being a primary example) makes forever chemicals resistant to forms of natural decomposition. This resistance to chemical change may contribute to the health risks associated with PFAS chemicals, such as:
- High cholesterol levels, which may ultimately contribute to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke
- A diminished immune system, which may make you susceptible to an array of health problems
- Interruptions in natural hormone production, which may be linked to problems such as breast cancer
- Liver damage
- Thyroid disease, which can cause weight problems and infertility
The study of possible adverse health impacts of other PFAS seemingly requires further research.
PFAS Chemicals May Be in Food, Water, and Household Goods
If you were previously unaware of PFAS chemicals and their dangers and assume that they are found sparingly because of their health risks, you would be wrong.
When PFAS chemicals are the result of contamination of a natural environment, perhaps because of a nearby factory which uses or produces PFAS, the chemicals may seep into:
- Water sources, sometimes those used for drinking
- Organisms that live in or on contaminated environments
- Other features of a contaminated landscape
In addition to these contamination spots, PFAS chemicals may be present in:
- Home cleaning products
- Nonstick kitchenware
- Water-resistant materials, including clothing and stain-prevention products
- Certain food wrappers
This could mean humans being introduced to unsafe levels of PFAS contamination from water that they drink, marine organisms that they eat such as fish, soil that they interact with or unintentionally ingest, and general interaction with a contaminated environment. According to NBC News, several military bases have proven to be hot spots for PFAS drinking water contamination.
Considering findings that PFAS chemicals are carcinogens and may produce other serious health effects, you or your family member may have grounds to bring a lawsuit if you have been exposed to unsafe levels of PFAS chemicals.
When PFAS Chemical Exposure Is Grounds for Legal Action
If you or your loved one has developed an illness that you believe could be the result of exposure to one or more PFAS chemicals, then you may be able to learn more about your eligibility for a lawsuit by speaking with a lawyer.
During a free consultation, a lawyer may:
- Listen to your account of how and why you believe that you were exposed to a PFAS chemical
- Explain legal options for pursuing compensation, which may include joining a class action lawsuit or starting a lawsuit of your own
- Offer to represent you in any lawsuit that you join or bring on your own
The individual circumstances of your illness and reason for suspecting PFAS chemicals as a contaminant will be completely unique. With this said, you may have a case for compensation if:
- You lived or live in a community where drinking water has been proven to be contaminated
- You worked in a setting where PFAS chemicals were produced or used
- You have spent significant time in a region or specific setting found to be contaminated by forever chemicals
If you choose to accept assistance from a lawyer, they may:
- Obtain records pertaining to your case, including any proof of PFAS contamination that may have impacted you
- Handle all of the legal aspects of your lawsuit
- Defend your rights
If your lawsuit is successful, then you may be able to collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses related to your illness
- Pain and suffering
- Income you have lost because of your illness
- Any other losses related to PFAS chemical contamination
Get in Touch With Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Our primary goals are protecting you from further harm and seeking justice for any PFAS contamination that you or your loved one have endured. Speak to a member of our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today when you call (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation.