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Can “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water Cause Health Issues?

 Posted on September 18, 2023 in Toxic Exposure

Untitled---2023-09-18T152551.743.jpgDrinking water is essential for our health and well-being. We rely on it to stay hydrated, nourished, and to support various bodily functions. However, what if the water we consume contains harmful substances that can have long-lasting effects on our health? One such concern is the presence of "forever chemicals" in drinking water. This issue has gained a great deal of attention in recent years, and people who have been exposed to toxic chemicals may be able to seek justice by pursuing compensation from the companies that were responsible. With the help of a qualified and experienced attorney, injury victims can take steps to address the harm they have suffered.

The Dangers of Forever Chemicals

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a category of chemicals that have been widely used in industrial processes and consumer products since the 1940s. They are resistant to heat, oil, grease, and water, making them useful in a variety of applications such as non-stick cookware, waterproof fabrics, firefighting foams, and food packaging.

While PFAS have many practical uses, they pose significant risks to human health. These chemicals do not break down easily in the environment or within our bodies. Instead, they persist over time and accumulate in living organisms through ingestion or absorption. In fact, studies have shown that around half of all drinking water in the United States contains these chemicals, and PFAS are present in the blood of 95 percent of the country’s population.

Exposure to PFAS has been linked with numerous adverse health effects, including:

  • Cancer: Some studies suggest a potential link between PFAS exposure and certain types of cancer, including kidney cancer and testicular cancer.

  • Liver Damage: Research has shown that high levels of PFAS can lead to liver tumors or other issues that affect the function of the liver.

  • Hormonal Disruption: PFAS may interfere with hormone production and regulation, which can impact reproductive function, development, growth, metabolism, immune system functioning, and other bodily systems.

Pennsylvania's Battle Against Forever Chemicals

Pennsylvania, like many other states, has been grappling with the issue of PFAS contamination in drinking water. The state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has identified several areas where PFAS levels exceed the recommended limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Extensive contamination has been identified in the southeastern regions of the state, but other areas, including Pittsburgh, have also been affected. This has raised concerns among residents about potential health risks associated with long-term exposure to these chemicals.

The DEP is working diligently to address this issue by implementing stricter regulations on industrial waste and conducting regular testing of drinking water sources. However, it is crucial for people to be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions to protect their health.

Options for People Affected by PFAS

Companies that have been responsible for releasing toxic chemicals into the environment may be held responsible for causing people to suffer harm. Currently, cities and counties across the United States are pursuing lawsuits against chemical manufacturers. Recently, 3M reached a settlement in which it will be required to pay more than $10 billion to cities affected by the chemicals it had manufactured. 

While these lawsuits may help address issues with contaminated drinking water, they may not benefit people who have been affected by toxic chemicals. However, people who have suffered harm due to contaminated drinking water may still have options, and they may be able to pursue compensation from companies that have caused them harm by filing their own lawsuits. By doing so, they may be able to receive monetary payments that will address issues such as medical expenses, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

Contact Our Pittsburgh Toxic Chemical Injury Lawyers

If you suspect that you or your family members have experienced health issues due to PFAS exposure, it is important to seek legal guidance from an attorney who can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation. At Colianni & Leonard LLC, we know how toxic chemicals can impact people’s health. Our team of dedicated Allegheny County toxic chemical exposure attorneys can provide you with the representation you need, helping you take action to hold a negligent company responsible for the harm your family has suffered. Contact our firm at 412-680-7877 to set up a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.

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