Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS substances, PFAS chemicals, or forever chemicals, are man-made synthetic entities that are used in a number of consumer products. Whether PFAS chemicals contaminate an environment or individual, it is safe to say that the PFAS contamination originated from human—rather than natural—sources such as a laboratory, factory, or specific product.
The Origins of PFAS Chemicals
The origins of PFAS chemicals date back to the 1940s, according to CNN, when the chemical compounds were first created for a variety of uses. Also known as forever chemicals, PFAS substances were considered useful—and by some, still are considered useful—because of their ability to protect items from absorbing water, oil, and other liquid substances.
Some of the purposes for which PFAS chemicals have been used over the years, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), include:
- For waterproof products, including sprays that can be widely applied to products to make them water-resistant
- As the “non-stick” element in non-stick cookware, including the chemical Teflon
- In certain food wrappers, possibly including fast food wrappers, as PFAS chemicals may provide a grease-resistant quality
- In certain home and industrial cleaning products
- In certain home care products, such as paints and sealants
- In certain personal care products, including some shampoos and products that you may use to clean your teeth
- In foam used to fight fires, which appears to be the primary cause for contamination on and near military bases, according to Military Times
PFAS chemicals are highly stable by nature, and therefore highly resistant to degradation. While this may be positive for certain specific purposes, it also means disposing of these chemicals in a way that is safe to humans and the environment may be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Levels of PFAS chemicals in consumer products may cause you reason for concern, but full-blown environmental contamination may cause even greater harm to your health, as well as the health of others in areas where a PFAS contamination has occurred.
PFAS Chemicals May Contaminate Entire Environments
NBC News is among the sources which have reported on the danger of “forever chemical” contamination that could impact entire communities, in this case, those who live on or near military bases.
When PFAS chemicals are dispersed into the environment, whether intentionally or unintentionally, some consequences may include:
- Contamination of sources of drinking water
- Contamination of water sources used for fishing or harvesting other organisms for human consumption, such as shellfish
- Contamination of soil, which may lead to contamination of vegetables and other crops grown in that soil, according to the journal Environment International
- Contamination of air near factories that use or produce PFAS chemicals
Such contamination could lead to widespread ingestion of forever chemicals by a significant number of people, and possibly entire communities. While researchers need to conduct further studies, it seems clear that human ingestion and absorption of PFAS chemicals is detrimental to your health.
Health Problems Associated With PFAS Chemicals
According to the ATSDR, some of the health problems associated with ingesting unsafe levels of PFAS chemicals include:
- A generally compromised immune system, which may result in susceptibility to an array of ailments
- Disruption in the body’s hormone production
- High cholesterol, which may lead to problems with the cardiovascular system including heart disease
- Higher chances of different kinds of cancer
Findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health state that additional risks of PFAS chemical exposure in humans may include:
- An increased risk of developing conditions that affect the liver, lungs, and thyroid
- Increased risk of developing cancer
- Reduced fertility
PFAS Contamination Could Be Cause for a Lawsuit
If you or your loved one has become ill and you believe that PFAS chemicals may have been a cause, then a lawyer may assist you in determining where your PFAS contamination originated. If you choose to bring an individual lawsuit or join an existing lawsuit, possible defendants may include:
- PFAS chemical manufacturers
- Regulators who failed to alert you to the dangers of PFAS chemicals
- Local governments who allowed a factory that caused PFAS contamination to exist without warning you
- Individuals responsible for PFAS chemical pollution
A lawyer will handle your legal pursuit of compensation from start to finish, aiming to obtain awards which could cover:
- Your PFAS-related medical expenses
- Income you have lost because of contamination
- Pain and suffering
- Any other losses you have sustained because of exposure to PFAS chemicals
Call Our Team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
PFAS chemical exposure can have a severe impact on your health, and we want to help protect you from further harm while seeking the justice that you are entitled to. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 788-4155 for a free consultation.
Our clients pay nothing upfront or out of pocket, and we do not shy away from tough cases.