Report recommends blood tests, medical monitoring for people exposed to toxic PFAS chemicals


A new report from the National Academies recommends blood tests and medical monitoring for people likely to have high exposure to the toxic chemicals known as PFAS.

The report offers the first comprehensive summary detailing links between PFAS levels in the blood and specific health concerns. It concludes there is now “sufficient evidence” of association between PFAS exposure and kidney cancer in adults, decreased infant and fetal growth, decreased immune response, and high cholesterol in adults and children.

Ned Calogne, who chaired the study committee for the report, said he was surprised by the strength of the evidence linking PFAS to disease, and also by the “ubiquitousness” of PFAS exposure in the United States.

“We find contamination in all 50 states and at least two territories, and in over 2,800 communities across the country,” said Calogne, a physician and incoming associate dean for public health practice at the Colorado School of Public Health.

PFAS chemicals have been used in many commercial items, like food packaging, stain-proof rugs, and nonstick cookware, and are also common in firefighting foams. The compounds are often called “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade easily and are very stable in water. To learn more about PFAS and if they’ve been found in your environment, read this.

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Wbur, 28-07-22