PFAS Contamination Growing Nationwide
The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in the nation’s capital, has found that the drinking water of 16 million Americans over 36 states is polluted with perflourinated compounds, or PFAS. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can result in adverse human health effects, including low birth weight, immune system problems, cancer, and thyroid issues.
Locally, PFAS have been found in Bucks County and Montgomery County at dangerously high levels. PFAS have now been found in the drinking water of every state east of the Mississippi River, except for Mississippi. Many Western states were also found to have water polluted by PFAS, including California, Colorado, Texas, Washington, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kansas, North Dakota, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Arizona. The pollutants were detected in these states through sampling conducted by the EPA. Some who have studied the EPA’s tests suggest that they greatly underestimate PFAS contamination because the do not use a low enough detection level, and only large water systems were tested.
Knowledge of health effects caused by PFAS is not still developing. Some presently known health effects associated with PFAS exposure include:
- High cholesterol
- Ulcerative colitis
- Immunodeficiency disorders
- Low birth weights
- Kidney cancer
- Thyroid problems
Origin of PFAS
One source of PFAS is certain firefighting foams, often used at airports and military bases. These foams are used to train military professionals in firefighting techniques and are a major source of groundwater contamination. Another source of PFAS contamination is the manufacturing industry in which PFAS are used to make “non-stick” and moisture-resistant coatings. They can also be found in food that has been packaged in materials containing PFAS, polishes, waxes, paints, and cleaning products. PFAS can even be found in certain types of wild caught fish, where they can build up over time and enter the human food chain.
The state of Pennsylvania is currently considering regulating at least one type of PFAS, PFOA, which is believed to cause certain types of cancer and other illnesses.
Pennsylvania Environmental Lawyers at Williams Cedar Represent Individuals Harmed by Environmental Pollutants
Corporations and businesses do not always dispose of their industrial waste properly, causing dangerous contaminants to make their way into the air, soil, and water supply. If you have reason to believe that you were injured by an environmental pollutant or contaminant, the dedicated Pennsylvania environmental contamination lawyers at Williams Cedar will fight to hold the responsible parties accountable. We are passionate about environmental justice and will fight tirelessly to help you get the answers you need and the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our Philadelphia offices at 215-557-0099, our Haddonfield offices at 856-874-7500, or contact us online today. We represent clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide.