Each week we are hearing more and more about PFAS and the effect they have on the environment and on ourselves. The more exposure that we have with PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, the greater risk that we have to experience the negative health effects of these chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that PFAS can stay in the human body for long periods of time, and as people are further exposed to PFAS, the level of PFAS in their bodies may increase to where they suffer adverse health effects. 

Many studies have been conducted in the past years that have looked at how PFAS can affect our bodies. There are indications that PFOA and PFOS, two compounds that belong to the wider class of PFAS, can cause issues in different parts of the body and at different stages. Exposure to PFAS can affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children, and can lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant.

PFAS health effects also include interference with the body’s natural hormones, an increased level of cholesterol, an increased risk of cancer, and ill effects on the body’s immune system. Even today, scientists are striving to learn more about the health effects of exposure to mixtures of PFAS.

To help learn more about these effects, scientists have used laboratory animals exposed to high doses of PFAS. These studies have shown changes in liver, thyroid, and pancreatic function and some changes in hormone levels. Although animals and humans process these chemicals differently, researching further into these effects will help scientists better understand how PFAS affect human health.

As of now, most of the studies have looked at the ingestion of PFAS, whereas there is limited information that identifies health effects from inhalation or skin exposure to PFOA or PFOS in humans or animals. 

Wherever you are, it is important to have potable drinking water. Potable water is anything safe to consume for humans and PFAS water testing hopes to identify. Kellermeier Plumbing strives to keep your drinking and bathing water as safe as can be, and we strongly recommend testing if you live in one of the affected areas.