Since the 1940s, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been manufactured in the United States. They're used for everything from firefighting to staining and waterproofing consumer goods like carpet, clothing, and food packaging. Some PFAS are no longer manufactured due to environmental and human health concerns, but they persist in the environment and may contaminate surface and groundwaters near manufacturing and use sites.
The majority of what we know about the health effects of PFAS comes from studies on humans and animals exposed to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) (PFOS). PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, but they are still found in human blood. High levels of PFAS in contaminated drinking water can cause the following health effects:
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Enzyme changes in the liver
- Disruption of hormones and increased risk of thyroid disease
- Women's chances of becoming pregnant are reduced.
- Pregnancy hypertension, also known as pre-eclampsia
- Infant birth weights have decreased slightly.
- Children's vaccine response has been reduced.
- An increased risk of developing kidney or testicular cancer,
To get more information about what are the health effects of PFAS in water, go through www.watercontaminationlawsuits.com/pfas-drinking-water.asp.
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A blood test can determine if you have been exposed to PFAS, but it cannot tell you how much PFAS you have been exposed to or whether you will experience adverse health effects. Consult your doctor if you are concerned about being exposed to PFAS in your drinking water.
Is there an acceptable PFAS level in my water?
For PFAS in public water supplies, there are no federal drinking water standards. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed health-based guidance levels for PFOA, PFOS, hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHx).