A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public House on March 4, 2020, found that PFAS compounds have up to five significant carcinogenic characteristics. The study found strong evidence that well-studied members of the PFAS class are associated with increased risk of cancer, oxidative stress, epigenetic alterations, and cell proliferation. So what does this mean for you?
PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals found in a variety of products we, as consumers and ordinary humans, use and come into contact with daily. Besides products we rely on daily like our favorite non-stick pan, contamination of PFAS are also present in drinking water and food supplies. Not only do PFAS never break down in the environment, but they also take years and years to leave the body.
As Americans, we are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals daily, and small, consistent build-up increases toxicity and risk for disease. Exposure to PFAS chemicals can cause hormonal dysregulation, weakened immune system, and increased risk for cancer. This means higher infertility rates, child-development issues, susceptibility to viruses and pathogens, and an elevated risk for testicular, kidney, prostate, and ovarian cancers.
The new study also indicates that even the short-chain “safer alternative” to PFAS (PFOA, GenX) show the same toxicity and carcinogenicity.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to focus on prevention – to actively avoid and limit exposure to known carcinogens. We can start with our water. In January, the EWG commissioned laboratory tests that found toxic PFAS chemicals in the drinking water of dozens of U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami, and northern New York and New Jersey.
In 2005-2013 the C8 Health Project studied more than 70,000 people who lived or worked in the mid-Ohio Valley where PFOA contamination was found in the drinking water. The Project concluded that elevated levels of PFOA in the body we’re associated with a higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and ovarian, prostate, testicular, and kidney cancers.