Deep Dive into the Health Effects of PFAS

The health effects of PFAS arise from many sources, like firefighter's foam reaching the groundwater.
We’ve learned a lot about PFAS over the last month throughout this blog series…
We now know that PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. We have used them in nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.
The health effects of PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA have been more widely studied than other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Some studies in humans with PFAS exposure have shown that certain PFOS/PFAS may:
  • Affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
  • Lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
  • Interfere with the body’s natural hormones
  • Increase cholesterol levels
  • Affect the immune system
  • Increase the risk of cancer
Scientists are still conducting research about the health effects of exposure to mixtures of PFAS.
Mostly, laboratory animals exposed to high doses of one or more of these PFAS chemicals have shown changes in liver, thyroid, and pancreatic function, and some changes in hormone levels.
The potential for danger grows significantly when dealing with unborn or developing children, teens, seniors and people with weakened immune systems.  Because animals and humans process these chemicals differently, more research will help scientists fully understand how PFAS affect human health.
Not sure if PFAS affect you? Request a contaminant water test here.