Understanding the Impact of PFAS

PFAS Poison warning

At Schlesinger Law Offices, we are dedicated to those affected by harmful chemicals, such as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), also known as “forever chemicals.”  With over 70 years of experience in product liability cases, including securing millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, our team is prepared to work hard to secure the compensation and justice you deserve. If you or a loved one has been affected by PFAS exposure, contact us today for a free consultation.

The Pervasive Problem of PFAS

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of thousands of manufactured chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s. These chemicals are valued for their water, heat, and stain-resistant properties, making them prevalent in various consumer and industrial products. However, their persistence in the environment and potential to accumulate in the human body, which is why they are referred to as “forever chemicals,” have raised significant health concerns. In fact, some PFAS manufacturers have known about these risks since the 1960’s.

Health Effects of PFAS Exposure

Scientific studies have linked PFAS exposure to numerous health issues. Known health risks include:

  • Reproductive Issues: Decreased fertility and increased high blood pressure in pregnant women.
  • Developmental Effects: Low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, and behavioral changes in children.
  • Cancer Risks: Higher incidence of prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers.
  • Immune System Impacts: Reduced ability to fight infections and lower vaccine responses.
  • Hormonal Interference: Disruption of natural hormone functions.
  • Cholesterol and Obesity: Increased cholesterol levels and obesity risk.

Special Considerations for Children and Pregnant Women

Children and pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to PFAS exposure due to their developing bodies and higher intake of water, food, and air relative to body weight. Young children are likely to ingest PFAS from household dust, carpets, and toys. Breastfeeding women can pass PFAS to their infants through breast milk, though the benefits of breastfeeding generally outweigh the risks. Pregnant women should consult their doctors to weigh the risks and benefits.

Widespread Presence of PFAS

PFAS have been found nearly everywhere on the planet. Some key examples include:

  • Drinking Water: PFAS contamination in public water systems and private wells is a major concern.
  • Soil and Water at Waste Sites: Landfills, disposal sites, and hazardous waste locations, including those under federal programs like Superfund, often harbor PFAS.
  • Fire Extinguishing Foam: Aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs) used in firefighting are significant PFAS sources, especially at airports, military bases, and chemical plants.
  • Manufacturing Facilities: Industries producing or using PFAS, such as electronics, textiles, and paper manufacturing contribute to environmental contamination.
  • Food: PFAS can enter the food chain, particularly in fish from contaminated waters and dairy products from exposed livestock.
  • Food Packaging: Items like microwave popcorn bags, fast food wrappers, and pizza boxes often contain PFAS.
  • Household Products: Stain and water-resistant treatments on carpets, upholstery, clothing, and other fabrics, as well as cleaning products and non-stick cookware, release PFAS.
  • Personal Care Products: Certain shampoos, dental floss, and cosmetics contain PFAS.
  • Biosolids: Fertilizer from wastewater treatment plants can spread PFAS to agricultural lands, affecting ground and surface water.

Seeking Justice and Compensation

If you or a loved one has been affected by PFAS exposure, Schlesinger Law Offices is here to help. Our experienced team of product liability attorneys will handle all the legal complexities and help you hold responsible parties accountable, and secure the compensation you deserve for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Contact Schlesinger Law Offices today for a free consultation and let us help you fight for your rights. Click here to read more about PFAS contamination and exposure.