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A new research study at Rutgers University will examine the health effects of several chemicals previously used in the manufacture of commercial products, including Teflon®, and foam used for firefighting. Funded by the federal government, this $1 million research endeavor will study the link between these PFAS chemicals and health problems, including cancer.
Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will focus on the health effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorononanoic and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). A previous phase of the study focused on the prevalence of these chemicals in public and private drinking water supplies throughout the country.
In this phase, scientists will examine the effects of exposure to these toxins by gathering data on 1,000 adults and 300 children. The two communities to be studied are Paulsboro and West Deptford, New Jersey. Results of the study will be shared with the local communities. Residents and members of a community advisory board will participate in implementation and design of the investigation.
Members of the PFAS “family,” including PFOA have been already linked with an increased risk of illnesses, including several types of cancer, immune system disorders, and high cholesterol. These materials, also called “forever chemicals,” can persist in the environment for many years after their initial release. Several of them are no longer manufactured, but they remain as contaminants in landfills. Scientists warn the continued presence of these toxic chemicals may eventually lead to the contamination of even larger ground water reserves.
Consumer safety advocates hope the results of the federal study will put pressure on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose strict regulations on the manufacture, sale, and use of PFAS chemicals. The EPA has not yet established enforceable standards related to PFAS contamination. Several New Jersey residents exposed to PFAS in the Paulsboro area have filed a class action suit after previous studies revealed their PFAS blood levels were four times higher than the national average. Data show that over two-thirds of the public water systems in New Jersey have elevated PFAS levels.
Individuals living with the physical effects of exposure to toxins, including PFAS and PFOA contamination, often face a financial nightmare as they struggle to cope with the costs of medical treatment, hospital stays, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, occupational or physical therapy, and lost wages. By filing a civil lawsuit against all parties responsible for the contamination, including the companies that manufactured, sold, used, or marketed toxic materials, toxic exposure victims can obtain the compensation they deserve.
If you are facing years of medical expenses resulting from exposure to contamination, the experienced South Jersey environmental contamination lawyers at Williams Cedar are here to help. We work with injured individuals and their families to hold all responsible parties accountable for their misconduct or negligence. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey to assist individuals injured by toxic exposure throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey, including Cherry Hill and nationwide. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 856-470-9777 or contact us online.