PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of man-made chemicals that manufacturers have made for decades. Researchers now know that these chemicals may cause health problems in humans.
The companies that still use PFAS in production could be part of a lawsuit where those exposed to PFAS attempt to receive compensation for their resulting illnesses.
Chemicals in the PFAS Family
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says PFAS encompass chemicals like PFOA and PFOS, which manufacturers have stopped producing, and GenX, the chemical they replaced PFOA with.
Because these are man-made chemicals, they do not appear naturally in the environment. The only way someone could end up with PFAS inside their body would be through exposure to a product or place that used PFAS chemicals.
Research into the consequences of PFOA and PFOS, the two most widely produced chemicals, constitute the most extensive testing done to date.
For the dozens of other chemicals in the PFAS family, though, research is ongoing. Some of those chemicals have had little to no research performed on them. This makes understanding the full health consequences of exposure to all of the PFAS a difficult process.
Health Problems Related to PFAS Exposure
With exposure to PFAS, you could have some symptoms and illnesses, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which include:
- Increased risk of cancer
- Hormonal imbalances
- Possible changes in internal organ function (liver, pancreas, thyroid, etc.)
- Low birth weight in infants
It is possible that doctors and researchers could identify additional health problems related to PFAS. You and your doctor may determine a health problem you have could relate to PFAS exposure.
How Did PFAS Get in the Environment?
For decades, dating back to the 1940s, PFAS commonly appeared in manufacturing and industrial uses. When production started, no one knew what PFAS is or that it could pose a threat to human and animal health.
Over time, researchers and the manufacturers of PFAS themselves began to discover the dangers of these compounds and chemicals.
PFAS Compounds do not Break Down
Once PFAS compounds are in the environment or in the human body, they do not break down or disappear. They actually continue to build up in these areas as the number of exposures increase.
One common area where PFAS appears in the environment is around industrial facilities that used PFAS. Even though those manufacturing industries may no longer exist in the area, having closed or moved long ago, PFAS compounds may remain in the area, entering the groundwater. Military bases and firefighting training areas commonly used PFAS in the past too.
How PFAS Enter the Human Body
Humans can absorb PFAS through a few different ways, including:
- Drinking water: If a person drinks water containing PFAS, they could have the chemical in the blood.
- Eating food: If a person eats food packaged in materials containing PFAS, or eats an animal exposed to PFAS in the environment, the PFAS may show up in the person’s blood.
- General exposure: A person who worked in an industry or environment where PFAS use was common could have PFAS appearing in their blood.
We Are Not Afraid to Take on Tough Cases
Understanding whether you have the ability to join a class-action lawsuit regarding PFAS exposure starts with understanding what PFAS is. Although exposure to this group of chemicals can be dangerous, doctors may not look for it as a cause for your injuries unless you live in an area of the country where PFAS exposures commonly occur.
If you believe you suffered exposure to PFAS, you may need to ask your doctor to test your blood. Exposure to this substance could qualify you to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturers yourself or to join a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit could result in a financial award to compensate you for your losses and injuries. Some compensation could include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
This is not a full list of compensation you could be entitled to for your losses. An attorney might be able to give you an estimate of the settlement or judgment amount you should receive.
At the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team provides representation to our clients. We are willing to fight for the rights of our clients, helping them receive the fairest possible settlement. Call us as soon as possible for a free consultation at (800) 794-0444.