PFAS contamination in drinking water has reached an all-time high, and the top 10 worst areas in the U.S. have been identified in a recent study. Brunswick County, North Carolina and Quad Cities, Iowa and Illinois are leading the nation in the worst water and in linked cancers and birth defects.
The nationwide and Illinois environmental lawyers at OnderLaw, we are deeply concerned about the findings from a recent analysis regarding the presence of toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in tap water and their potential link to cancers and pregnancy complications. The analysis suggests a troubling 70% correlation between high levels of PFAS chemicals in drinking water and increased rates of disease and pregnancy problems in affected communities, including areas of Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, and other states. Our Iowa, Illinois, and North Carolina environmental attorneys are taking on these corporations.
What Are PFAS?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are synthetic chemicals that persist in the environment and the human body for thousands of years, earning them the name ‘forever chemicals.’ Scientists are finding a growing number of links between PFAS exposure and serious health problems, including cancer and pregnancy complications.
North Carolina And Iowa Leading In PFAS Cancer Rates
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reaffirms that cancer remains the leading cause of death in North Carolina. One contributing factor to the increased risk of cancer is the presence of PFAS. These chemicals have long been associated with a higher likelihood of developing various types of cancer, including kidney and testicular cancer.
PFAS Contamination in Quad Cities
Following closely behind Brunswick County, another area with notable PFAS contamination is the Quad Cities region, encompassing a five-city spread across Iowa and Illinois. The data provided by the CDC also includes rates at the city level, shedding light on the impact of PFAS contamination in specific areas.
Some of the top cities identified in the data include Miami, Wilmington (North Carolina), Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Charleston (South Carolina). PFAS contamination is often detected in water sources near manufacturing facilities, military bases, and firefighting training sites where flame-retardant foam, containing PFAS, is commonly used. Notably, chemical company 3M has incorporated these chemicals into their firefighter foam since the 1960s.
Worst Cities for PFAS-Contaminated Water
According to a report by DailyMail, the ten worst cities for PFAS-contaminated water include
- Brunswick County, North Carolina
- Quad Cities, Iowa and Illinois
- Miami, Florida
- Bergen County, New Jersey
- Wilmington, North Carolina
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Louisville, Kentucky
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Decatur, Alabama
Our team of environmental lawyers represents plaintiffs in each of these states.
PFAS Occupational Hazard for Firefighters
The correlation between firefighting and cancer risk has been established in several studies. For instance, a 2014 study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that firefighters have a nine percent higher likelihood of developing cancer compared to the general population. Furthermore, they face a 14 percent higher risk of dying from cancer.
Recognition of Firefighting as Carcinogenic
Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the occupation of firefighting as “carcinogenic to humans,” recognizing the inherent risks faced by firefighters in their line of work.
Implications and the Need for Action: A Call for Justice
These findings highlight the urgent need to address PFAS contamination and prioritize the health and safety of affected communities. It underscores the importance of implementing stringent regulations and adopting preventive measures to mitigate the risks associated with PFAS exposure, particularly for those in high-risk occupations such as firefighting.
Cancers and Pregnancy Complications Linked to PFAS
The analysis revealed that neighborhoods with the highest levels of PFAS in drinking water experience higher cancer diagnoses and deaths compared to the national average. Certain types of cancers, such as kidney and testicular cancers, have been more strongly associated with PFAS exposure. Furthermore, the rates of low birth weight in these communities were higher than the national average, highlighting potential risks to pregnant women and their babies.
Advocating for Justice and Compensation
At OnderLaw, we believe that communities deserve answers and justice. Our team of experienced attorneys is committed to holding responsible parties accountable and seeking compensation for those affected. If you or your loved ones have suffered health issues related to PFAS exposure, we are here to help. Contact OnderLaw for a confidential consultation, and let us fight for the justice you deserve.
Addressing Corporate Cover-Ups and Urgent Action
A recent investigation exposed by the Daily Mail outlined the deceitful actions of manufacturers regarding the dangers of PFAS. The report draws attention to the failures of current U.S. regulations in adequately addressing harmful chemicals. The widespread presence of PFAS chemicals in the environment is a pressing concern, demanding a comprehensive response to protect public health.
A Safer and Healthier Future
The need for action is clear. PFAS contamination demands a comprehensive response, similar to the successful efforts to eliminate lead from various sources. We must prioritize identifying essential uses of PFAS and finding alternatives that protect public health.
Together, we can work towards a safer and healthier future for all. Contact OnderLaw today for a confidential consultation and let us help you navigate the path towards justice and accountability.