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, North Carolina, and other states.
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.
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.
10 Worst Cities for PFAS-Contaminated Water
- Brunswick County, N.C. at 185.9ppt
- Quad Cities, Iowa at 109.8ppt
- Miami, Fla. at 56.7ppt
- Bergen County, N.J. at 51.4ppt
- Wilmington, N.C. at 50.5ppt
- Philadelphia, Pa. at 46.3ppt
- Louisville, Ky. at 45.2ppt
- New Orleans, La. at 41.8ppt
- Charleston, S.C. at 33.3ppt
- Decatur, Ala. at 24.1ppt
Firefighting, PFAS, and Cancer
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.
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.
To our OnderLaw PFAS attorneys, those aren’t just statistics. Every firefighter who develops cancer after being exposed to PFAS in the line of duty is a parent, friend, spouse, and neighbor. We recognize that they are real people, and they deserve accountability.
To talk with an OnderLaw PFAS attorney about filing a claim, please contact us at 800-799-2824.
What Do These Studies Mean?
These findings highlight the urgent need to address PFAS contamination and prioritize the health and safety of communities affected by it. 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.
What Types of Cancers and Pregnancy Complications are Related 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.
We understand that correlation does not equate causation, and there are various factors that influence disease rates, including poverty, access to healthcare, and lifestyle choices. However, the connection between PFAS exposure and health issues cannot be ignored.
PFAS chemicals are pervasive, found in everyday products ranging from nonstick cookware to food packaging to firefighter foam. The contamination of water supplies occurs through industrial runoff, military bases, agricultural sites, and sewage treatment plants.
What Happens Next for PFAS Lawsuits?
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.
At OnderLaw, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights of individuals impacted by PFAS-contaminated water. We believe that communities deserve answers and justice. The recent analysis underscores the urgency for a national study to investigate the potential health risks associated with PFAS contamination across the country. 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. Together, we can work towards a safer and healthier future for all.
Corporations Knew of PFAS Dangers and Hid Them
A recent investigation exposed by the Daily Mail outlined the deceitful actions of manufacturers regarding the dangers of PFAS. The University of California, San Francisco researchers reviewed internal company documents and discovered a disturbing timeline of deliberate cover-up that lasted for over 30 years.
The report reveals that executives from chemical manufacturers DuPont and 3M were alerted to the health risks of PFAS as early as 1961. Shockingly, this critical information was not made public until the 1990s. Internal documents exposed the hazards associated with PFAS, including liver enlargement, poisonings, and birth defects in children.
Forever chemicals have become pervasive in our daily lives, present in various products such as nonstick frying pans and waterproof fabrics. However, even a minor scratch can release millions of these toxic substances, which are then absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream. Once inside the body, they can damage DNA, increase the risk of cancer, and interfere with vital organs like the thyroid.
The study, published in the Annals of Global Health, analyzed documents obtained from 3M and DuPont during a lawsuit that began in 1998. The scientists constructed a timeline of when the manufacturers became aware of the risks associated with PFAS chemicals. Their findings revealed repeated instances of internal concern and knowledge about the toxicity of PFAS dating back to the 1960s.
The manufacturers conducted studies and experiments that demonstrated the harmful effects of PFAS exposure, such as liver enlargement in rats and high toxicity when inhaled or ingested. Alarming findings from the 1970s indicated that dogs exposed to PFAS died within days. Additionally, in 1980, DuPont learned that employees who had been pregnant while working in their factories gave birth to babies with deformities. Yet, the company failed to disclose this information, instead downplaying the risks and assuring the public that PFAS posed no known harm.
The parallels between the actions of PFAS manufacturers and the tobacco industry in the mid-20th century are deeply concerning. Just like tobacco companies, these manufacturers sought to question findings and downplay the risks associated with their products. 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. Studies suggest that over 97 percent of Americans have these chemicals circulating in their bloodstreams. While some U.S. states are starting to take action, such as Minnesota’s plan to ban PFAS completely by 2025, more comprehensive measures are urgently needed to protect public health.
How Do I Find a PFAS Lawyer?
At OnderLaw, we firmly believe in holding accountable those responsible for the harm caused by PFAS exposure. If you or your loved ones have suffered health issues related to PFAS, we are here to support you. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to fighting for justice and seeking compensation for the victims of these toxic chemicals.
Together, we can demand stronger regulations, advocate for transparency, and ensure that the interests of individuals and communities take precedence over corporate cover-ups. Contact OnderLaw today for a confidential consultation and let us help you navigate the path towards justice and accountability.