Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.
Studies have shown an association between increased PFOA and PFOS blood levels and an increased risk for several health effects, including effects on the liver and the immune system, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, thyroid disorders, pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia, and cancer (testicular and kidney).
PFAS may be in drinking water, food, indoor dust, some consumer products, and workplaces. Blood serum concentrations of PFASs are higher in workers and individuals living near facilities that use or produce PFASs than for the general population. Pathways of exposure include ingestion of food and water, use of consumer products or inhalation of PFAS-containing particulate matter (e.g., soils and dust) or vapor phase precursors.
The National Rural Water Association (NRWA) has joined with the law office of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC to bring together utility systems from across the country that have concerns or have been affected by PFAS contamination. This potential landmark contamination case could help water and wastewater systems recoup money spent on treatment and remediation.
Napoli Shkolnik will represent clients in any state who are dealing with contamination of public water supplies.