Are PFAS Cancer-Causing?
PFAS, short for “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” have recently been linked to adverse health effects including altered metabolism and fertility, birth defects, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Elevated body levels of the chemical PFOA, one type of PFAS chemical, have been associated with an increased risk for the development of the following types of cancer:
- Kidney Cancer
- Testicular Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Endometrial Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Thyroid Cancer
- Childhood Leukemia
Related Article: PFAS Exposure Lawsuits
How Can PFAS Cause Cancer?
A March 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [1.] tried to establish possible mechanisms underlying the link between PFAS and cancer. The study's authors summarized the existing evidence about PFAS substances, which can act like previously known cancer-causing chemicals.
The mechanisms include different ways PFAS can disrupt biological activity, such as by changing DNA, weakening the immune system, inducing chronic inflammation, causing cells to proliferate, or altering normal communication between cells.
The researchers looked for evidence of 10 such carcinogenic (cancer-causing) traits in animal, cell, and human studies of roughly two dozen PFAS chemicals. “We found that every single one of them exhibited at least one of the key characteristics” of carcinogens, said Alexis Temkin of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which conducted the study with researchers from Indiana University.
What Other Health Problems Can PFAS Cause?
In addition to cancer, PFAS may lead to the following adverse health affects in some people:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Changes in liver enzymes
- Decreases in infant birth weights
- Decreased vaccine response in children
- Increased risk of high blood pressure or presclampsia in pregnant women
Related Article: What Does PFAS Do to Your Body?
How Does PFAS Contamination Occur?
PFAS contamination has been found to occur in drinking water, food, indoor dust, certain consumer products, and workplaces. Most exposures in the general public occur through drinking contaminated water or eating food that contains PFAS. Although some types of PFAS are no longer used, many products, including food packaging materials, may still contain PFAS.
Can I Test Myself for PFAS?
Several labs in North America currently offer PFAS blood testing: AXYS Analytical, EmpowerDX, and Eurofins. AXYS and Eurofins measure PFAS in blood serum, and EmpowerDX offers a home finger-prick test.
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The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new legal challenges in all 50 states.
If you or a loved one was injured by PFAS contamination, you should contact our law firm immediately for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.