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PFAS

Shocking information is brought to light on these pages.  Together we can use this information to prevent cancer for ourselves, our families, our communities, our states, our nation and the world.

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What are PFAS

What are PFAS?

PFAS are used, often superfluously, in everyday products like nonstick cookware, carpets, food packaging, stain repellents, and water-resistant clothing. The synthetic compounds are also commonly found in firefighting foam and gear, which has led to the contamination of most military bases and airports. GenX, which DuPont began producing in 2009, is merely one of the many thousands of these “forever chemicals” that don’t break down in the environment and, instead, can bioaccumulate in the bodies of humans and wildlife. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PFAS can be detected in the blood of nearly every American.

How can I be exposed to PFAS?

The main ways people can be exposed to PFAS include:

  • Drinking contaminated municipal or private well water.

  • Eating fish with high levels of PFAS.

  • Eating food grown or raised near places that used or made PFAS.

  • Eating food packaged in material made with PFAS.

  • Swallowing contaminated soil or dust.

  • Using some consumer products, such as ski wax, nonstick cookware, and stain and water repellant sprays for fabrics.

Where are PFAS?

Sources of PFAS - Where are PFAS?

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/pfas-chemicals-biodegradable-food-containers-compost:

Chemicals in biodegradable food containers can leach into compost

Long-lasting PFAS compounds could end up in plants that are later eaten by people

PFAS and Chromium 6 map - unregulated by the FDA

https://www.ewg.org/interactive-maps/chromium6_contamination/map/

https://www.ewg.org/

Environmental Working Group - guide to PFA’s per product including a TAP WATER DATABASE BY ZIP CODE

Map of PFAS exposure: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/activities/map.html

 

Why are there PFAS

Why?

Laws are outdated for drinking water

https://patch.com/new-jersey/howell/cancer-linked-contaminants-found-howell-drinking-water-report

Most Americans don’t think twice about drinking a glass of water. A report released Wednesday, though, found more than 270 harmful contaminants in local drinking water across the nation, including in Howell Township. The substances are linked to cancer, damage to the brain and nervous system, hormonal disruption, problems in pregnancy and other serious health conditions.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group, collaborating with outside scientists, aggregated and analyzed data from almost 50,000 local water utilities in all 50 states.

The organization found a troubling discrepancy between the current legal limits for contaminants and the most recent authoritative studies of what is safe to consume.

“Legal does not necessarily equal safe,” Sydney Evans, a science analyst at the environmental group, told Patch.

Detecting PFAS

Detecting PFAS:

PFAS Blood Testing: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/blood-testing.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.atsdr.cdc.gov%2Fpfas%2Fpfas-blood-testing.html

PFAS have been found in the environment and in the blood of humans and animals worldwide. Most people in the United States have one or more specific PFAS in their blood, especially PFOS and PFOA. 

Community testing 

Blood tests for PFAS are most useful when they are part of a scientific investigation or a health study. A scientific investigation can show the range of blood PFAS levels in community members and may provide information on how the levels vary among different populations. The data from these studies can also help community members who were not tested to estimate their likely blood PFAS level. 

Individual testing 

If you are concerned and choose to have your blood tested, test results will tell you how much of each PFAS is in your blood, but it is unclear what the results mean in terms of possible health effects. The blood test will not provide information to pinpoint a health problem, nor will it provide information for treatment. The blood test results will not predict or rule out the development of future health problems related to a PFAS exposure. 

In addition, blood testing for PFAS is not a routine test offered by most doctors or health departments. If you would like to have your or your children’s blood tested, talk to your health care provider. You can also seek guidance and how to interpret blood test results from your regional Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU). However, PEHSUs do not offer PFAS testing.

Remember that PFAS are found in the blood of humans and animals worldwide. Most people in the United States have one or more specific PFAS in their blood, especially PFOS and PFOA. Please see PFAS in the U.S. Population for more information.

PFAS in the U.S. Population - https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/us-population.html

ATSDR: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has measured blood PFAS in the U.S. population since 1999-2000. NHANES is a program of studies designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the health and nutrition of adults and children in the United States. NHANES data are publicly released in 2-year cycles.

Since 2002, production and use of PFOS and PFOA in the United States have declined. As the use of some PFAS has declined, some blood PFAS levels have gone down as well.

  • From 1999-2000 to 2017-2018, blood PFOS levels declined by more than 85%.

  • From 1999-2000 to 2017-2018, blood PFOA levels declined by more than 70%.

However, as PFOS and PFOA are phased out and replaced, people may be exposed to other PFAS. 

Biomonitoring Studies

Biomonitoring studies have measured PFAS levels in other groups:

  • Workers in PFAS manufacturing facilities

  • Communities with contaminated drinking water

  • The general U.S. population

Link to this page: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/health-effects/us-population.html

and this page (PFAS exposure assessment):  https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/activities/assessments.html

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How and Where to Take Action

How and where to take action

https://www.ewg.org/who-we-are/our-mission

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