PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a group of man-made chemicals widely used in industrial and consumer products such as non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, food packaging, and firefighting foam. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and do not break down easily, which has led to concerns about their potential health effects on humans and wildlife.
PFAS exist because they have unique properties that make them useful in various industrial and consumer applications. These chemicals are highly resistant to heat, water, and oil and have non-stick properties, which makes them ideal for use in products such as non-stick cookware and waterproof clothing. They are also used in firefighting foam because of their ability to extinguish fires involving flammable liquids quickly.
However, because of their environmental persistence and potential health risks, there has been a push to phase out the use of PFAS in certain products and industries. Some countries and jurisdictions have already banned or restricted the use of certain PFAS chemicals.
PFAS are widely used in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including:
These are just a few examples of products that may contain PFAS. Not all products in these categories will necessarily contain PFAS, and the use of PFAS in certain products may vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific product.
Yes, PFAS are often called "forever chemicals" because they do not break down easily in the environment and can persist for many years. This means that once released into the environment, they can accumulate over time and potentially risk human and environmental health. Some studies have suggested that PFAS can remain in the body for many years after exposure and may be associated with various adverse health effects, including cancer, liver damage, and developmental issues.
"Forever chemicals" is a term used to describe certain types of chemicals that do not break down easily in the environment and can persist for many years. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a type of chemical that is often referred to as a "forever chemical" because they do not break down easily and can remain in the environment for many years, potentially accumulating in living organisms and increasing the risk of harm to human and environmental health.
The term "forever chemicals" reflects that these chemicals are persistent and can remain in the environment for a long time, even after their initial use or release has ended. This persistence increases the risk of exposure and potential harm to humans and wildlife, which is why there is growing concern about the use of these chemicals in consumer and industrial products.
PFAS are considered bad because of their potential to harm human and environmental health. Here are some reasons why:
PFAS are persistent in the environment, which means they do not break down easily and can remain in the environment for many years. This persistence increases the risk of exposure and potential harm to humans and wildlife.
PFAS can accumulate in the bodies of living organisms, including fish and other seafood that humans may consume, increasing the risk of exposure to humans.
Some studies have suggested that PFAS may be associated with a range of adverse health effects in humans, including liver damage, developmental issues, thyroid disease, and cancer.
PFAS are widely used in industrial and consumer products, which means that many people may be exposed to them in their daily lives.
While some countries and jurisdictions have taken steps to regulate PFAS, they are not yet regulated as a group in many parts of the world, which means that their use and potential harm may not be fully understood or addressed.
Overall, the persistence, bioaccumulation, potential health risks, widespread use, and limited regulation of PFAS make them a concern for human and environmental health.
Here are some recent class action lawsuits regarding PFAS:
In 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against 3M, a company that manufactured earplugs used by military personnel, alleging that the earplugs were defective and did not properly protect the ears from loud noises, resulting in hearing loss and tinnitus. The lawsuit also alleged that the earplugs contained PFAS, which could have further health impacts.
Dupont, a chemical company, was sued in a class action lawsuit for releasing PFAS into the environment from a facility in West Virginia, contaminating the water supply of thousands of residents. The lawsuit alleged that the PFAS caused health problems, including cancer.
A class action lawsuit was filed against Wolverine World Wide, a shoe company, for contaminating the groundwater in several Michigan communities with PFAS from its tannery operations. The lawsuit alleged that the contamination caused health problems and reduced property values.
Chemours, a chemical company spun off from Dupont, was sued in a class action lawsuit for contaminating the groundwater and surface water in North Carolina with PFAS from its manufacturing operations. The lawsuit alleged that the contamination caused health problems and reduced property values.
The state of Minnesota filed a lawsuit against several companies, including 3M, alleging that they knew or should have known about the health and environmental risks associated with PFAS but failed to disclose them to the public. The lawsuit sought damages for the costs of cleaning up contaminated sites and treating people who were exposed to PFAS.
PFAS, forever chemicals, are becoming an increasing environmental and physical health problem. If PFAS has impacted you, contact our lawyers to see if you have a case.