What are Forever Chemicals?

Forever Chemicals

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) take such as long time to break down that they are often referred to as forever chemicals. Shockingly, PFAS may be harmful to humans as well. For this reason, everyone should learn more about the effects of PFAS.

PFAS are chemical compounds with elemental bonds that are so tight that they do not break down under normal circumstances. Additionally, PFAS have a slippery, heat-resistant surface that is both durable and dependable. This makes them attractive for use in household products, including Teflon cookware, cosmetics, water-repellent apparel, and personal protective gear, stain-resistant textile, and many more commercial items.

In other words, PFAS have become widespread. However, PFAS have been around so long that trace elements of them have been found in soil, drinking water, and even in the human body. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) performed studies on random groups of people to determine their levels of PFAS. The CDC found PFAS in 97 to 99 percent of the participants.

What Health Problems are Linked to PFAS?

Multiple peer-reviewed studies have examined the effects of PFAS. As a result, many scientists and medical experts believe that excessive exposure to or consumption of PFAS can cause a host of physical and psychological ailments. Some health problems linked to PFAS include:

  • Birth defects: Some of the more common birth defects reported involve preeclampsia, high blood pressure, and diabetes in pregnant women.
  • Cancer: In particular, testicular, ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers have been noticed among people who have been exposed to high levels of PFAS.
  • Elevated cholesterol levels: Any measurable elevation in the normal level of cholesterol could be linked to PFAS.
  • Hormonal fluctuations and disruptions: Varying studies have indicated a likely correlation between PFAS and endocrine fluctuations.
  • Immune system suppression: People with high amounts of PFAS in their bodies may be unable to fight off diseases as effectively as those without high amounts of PFAS.
  • Liver disease: The liver can be affected by PFAS exposure, causing it to work less efficiently.
  • Puberty delays and reproductive health issues: A delay in the sexual development in young children, as well as the ability for adults to reproduce, may be linked to PFAS.
  • Respiratory illnesses and chronic conditions: Some experts believe that PFAS exposure can cause an increase in asthma and allergic responses.

PFAS Case Involving Top Chemical Companies

Some companies pollute the environment with waste containing PFAS. This was seen in the DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva case that ended in a settlement of $50 million. The settlement amount is intended to reverse some of the alleged environmental damage, tests to see the current levels of PFAS, and provide money for specific organizations located near the companies’ manufacturing plants.

How can I Avoid Contact With PFAS?

Since PFAS have been around for generations, they are found in water supplies, the ground, and in consumer products. This makes them difficult to avoid. However, it may be possible for consumers to at least limit their exposure to forever chemicals. Consumers can avoid buying products that contain high levels of PFAS.

Some products that contain PFAS include cookware and bakeware coated with non-stick chemicals. Consumers should review ingredients and avoid products with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Another term to avoid is “perfluoro,” per Healthline’s recommendations.

What Should I Do if I Suspect PFAS Caused My Health Condition?

Due to recent litigation involving PFAS, consumers may have more clout than ever if they believe they have experienced health problems due to exposure to forever chemicals. With that being said, proving both causation and correlation can be challenging in court. Winning a case against a corporation requires having strong legal representation. If one wishes to pursue an environmental toxic tort case, they should speak to a lawyer right away.

At this point, stopping the future production of PFAS may be the only way to help avoid exposure. Several states have banned the use of PFAS in food packaging and firefighting chemicals. Other states are looking into safer ways to produce products that do not involve high levels of PFAS.

Delaware Toxic Tort Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Help Those Adversely Affected by PFAS

If you believe that a chronic health condition may have been caused or exacerbated by PFAS, speak to our Delaware toxic tort lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. Call us at 302-656-5445 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.