Author Topic: PFAS - PFC - Millions Of Americans Drinking Toxic Water Harvard Study  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline TahoeBlue

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Millions Of Americans May Be Drinking Toxic Water, Harvard Study Finds
Alejandro Dávila Fragoso
6 hrs ago·

The drinking water of some six million people across the country may have elevated levels of unregulated toxic chemicals widely used in the past in many household products — notably pans coated with Teflon — a Harvard-led study published Tuesday found.

Resistant to heat, water, and oil, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of chemicals that have been used for decades to coat fabric or food packaging, and to manufacture fire-fighting foams and Teflon pans. Now mostly phased out in the U.S., PFAS went unregulated and were often disposed in watersheds. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and have been linked to adverse health effects in animals, according to the EPA. In humans, PFAS have been linked to a wide range of illnesses, including birth defects, cancer, and immune system dysfunction, according to multiple studies.

“These compounds have been used for over 60 years and it is only in the most recent years that we’ve began to understand how serious this pollution is, and how toxic [PFAS] are,” Philippe Grandjean, co-author and adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard University, told ThinkProgress.

According to the study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, 75 percent of public water systems that exceeded PFAS federally recommended safety levels (updated this year) were found in 13 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. While PFAS are largely on their way out, the substitutes are at times chemically related and could still be toxic, recent studies have found.

In the past “ we didn’t know anything about the toxicology of those compounds but we used [them] anyway,” said Hu. “Now we are facing the severe consequence of having to fix the problem.”

For municipal agencies those fixes could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in new equipment,” said Undesser, adding people shouldn’t wait for the EPA to come up with a rule to install “inexpensive” filtering systems if they feel uncomfortable with their water supply

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How can PFAS affect people’s health?

Scientists are not sure about the possible health effects of human exposure to PFAS. PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS and PFNA have been more widely studied than other PFAS. For the most part, studies have found that animals exposed to PFAS at high levels have shown changes in the function of the liver, thyroid, pancreas, and hormone levels. However, scientists are not sure how animal data applies to human exposure, because PFAS behave differently in humans than they do in animals and may be harmful in different ways.

PFAS build up and remain in the human body and the amount reduces very slowly over time. So scientists and doctors are concerned about their effects on human health.

Studies in humans have shown that certain PFAS may be associated with
•developmental delays in the fetus and child, including possible changes in growth, learning, and behavior.
•decreased fertility and changes to the body’s natural hormones,
•increased cholesterol,

•changes to the immune system,
•increased uric acid levels
•changes in liver enzymes
•prostate, kidney, and testicular cancer

More research is needed to confirm or rule out possible links between health outcomes and exposure to PFAS and to quantify the associated dose-response relationships. Overall, the scientific evidence linking PFAS exposures with specific health effects in people is mixed and inconclusive.

Should I get tested for PFAS?

ATSDR does not advise individuals to pursue testing for PFAS exposure for the following reasons:
Tests can be expensive
•Interpreting results is difficult
•There are no recommended medical interventions at this time to reduce the amount of PFAS in the body other than through natural excretion (in urine or feces)

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole ; He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. - Job 5