Oct 31, 2022

What Injuries Can You Suffer From PFAS Exposure?

Posted by : ZeroRisk Cases Marketing

These lawsuits focus on harm by a group of common chemicals that don’t easily break down. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are widely spread throughout the environment because many products contain them. PFAS are toxic, and it’s difficult to impossible for the human body to break them down and get them out. As a result, they can remain in the body for years if not decades, slowly causing harm that can eventually become disabling or fatal.

What are PFAS?

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of more than a thousand artificial chemicals first made by DuPont in 1946 to create nonstick Teflon coated cookware. Their molecules consist of linked carbon and fluorine atom chains. They form strong bonds that don’t degrade easily in the environment.

What are Their Uses?

These chemicals are in many products beyond cookware. They are everyday consumer items, food packaging, used in construction, and military equipment. PFAS have many commercially popular uses because of their molecular bond strength, stability, and resistance to oil and water.

PFAS are used to create:

  • Food packaging
  • Water and stain repellant fabrics
  • Nonstick bakeware and cookware
  • Plastics
  • Polishes and waxes
  • Paints
  • Cleaning products
  • Firefighting foams
  • Materials used in aerospace and vehicles
  • Construction equipment
  • Electronics
  • Military equipment
  • Personal care products (shampoo, dental floss) and cosmetics (nail polish, eye makeup)
  • Paints, varnishes, and sealants

PFAS in one form or another, in one product or use or another, have surrounded us for decades.

How are People Exposed to PFAS?

Most people living in the US have PFAS in their blood, especially perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recent studies show that exposure to these chemicals poses numerous health risks.

You can be exposed to PFAS by:

  • Drinking contaminated water from municipal supplies or a private well
  • Eating fish living in contaminated water
  • Swallowing contaminated soil or dust
  • Eating food packaged in PFAS-containing material
  • Using consumer products like stain-resistant carpeting and water-repellant clothing

Research suggests PFAS exposure from consumer products is usually low, but exposure can be heavy if contaminated water is drunk.

Workers employed by making or processing PFAS and PFAS-containing materials are more likely to be exposed than the general population. Inhalation is the most likely route for exposure, but it can be swallowed and absorbed through the skin.

What Injuries Can You Suffer From PFAS Exposure?

“A growing body of science has found that there are potential adverse health impacts associated with PFAS exposure, including liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression, and cancer,” reports CNN, “In the body, they primarily settle into the blood, kidney, and liver.”

“Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals,” according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

There are many disorders related to PFAS, including:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Mental impairments
  • Infertility
  • Developmental disabilities
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood disorders
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Cancer
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Changes in liver function
  • Smaller infant birth weight and birth defects
  • Ulcerative colitis

As time goes on and more research is performed, we may learn of many other conditions linked to the chemicals.

Risks and Warnings

The EPA issued a PFAS health advisory in 2016 based on studies of PFAS’ effects on laboratory animals and epidemiological studies of people exposed to them. They show exposure over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including:

  • Fetal and infant development problems (low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations)
  • Testicular and kidney cancer
  • Liver damage
  • Effects on the immune system impacting antibody production and immunity
  • Thyroid effects

EPA’s health advisories are non-enforceable and non-regulatory and provide technical information on health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies associated with drinking water contamination. The European Food Safety Administration (EFSA) released limits for the most common types of PFAS ten times lower than the EPA’s health advisory in 2018.

California became the seventh state to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging in October 2021, and it requires warning labels on cookware made with PFAS. California joins Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington in banning PFAS in food packaging.

PFAS Lawsuits

All those who can make a connection between PFAS and a physical injury may be able to file a personal injury claim against those involved in the design, manufacture, distribution, and sale of these chemicals. If a person’s death can be traced back to PFAS, their next of kin may be able to maintain a wrongful death claim against those who may be responsible.

Claims involving PFAS continue to evolve rapidly across the country, reports the Insurance Journal. This includes ongoing multi-district litigation in the US District Court of South Carolina and, “…it is clear that litigation and regulation of PFAS are really just ramping up.”

The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation in 2018 established a multi-district litigation (MDL) for claims involving firefighting foam containing PFAS. The litigation targets defendants that manufactured and distributed the foam and its ingredients, specifically PFAS.

The MDL has more than 1,000 member cases that include:

  • Property damage claims by water providers and property owners
  • Bodily injury claims
  • Claims for medical monitoring for potential future injury

The first personal injury cases are scheduled for trial later next year. Currently, bellwether cases are concluding written discovery and moving into the testimonial discovery (as many as fifty depositions have taken place as of November).

States and cities are also actively pursuing litigation due to the widespread, public PFAS contamination:

  • Minnesota reached an $850 million settlement with 3M, which makes PFAS, in 2018 of their lawsuit concerning contamination by PFAS production facilities of the Twin Cities Metropolitan area’s water supplies
  • Lake Elmo, Minnesota, settled a lawsuit against 3M in 2019 filed due to PFAS contaminating drinking water. The company agreed to pay $2.7 million and transferred ownership of 180 acres of farmland worth $1.8 million
  • Multiple states have filed PFAS lawsuits against companies that use these chemicals. They include: Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Vermont, and Alaska

For years, plaintiffs’ lawyers suing over health and environmental damage from so called forever chemicals, known collectively as PFAS, focused on one set of deep pockets—E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours was named as a defendant in more than 6,100 PFAS lawsuits since 2005. But no company’s degree of legal jeopardy may be rising faster than 3M’s. It was named in an average of more than three PFAS-related lawsuits a day last year. The company’s most recent annual report dedicated more than 15 pages to its legal exposure from PFAS.

Corporations including 3M Co., Chemguard Inc., Kidde-Fenwal Inc., National Foam Inc., and Dynax Corp. are now being sued at roughly the same rate as DuPont, according to a Bloomberg Law analysis of more than 6,400 PFAS-related lawsuits filed in federal courts between July 2005 and March 2022.

Total PFAS liabilities could reach $30 billion in a “worst-case scenario” for 3M.

If PFAS went into a company’s finished product, odds are it’s being sued.

Nearly every American has PFAS in their bodies.

Fast food containers, cosmetics, furniture, carpeting, and waterproof jackets are just some of the items that can contain PFAS. The chemicals are also widely used in commercial applications like wiring insulation, personal protective equipment, and medical devices.

Purpose of PFAS

Used in a wide range of products because of its non-stick and water repelling qualities. It’s highly chemically stable and resists oil and water.

Side Effects:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Infertility
  • Mental Impairments
  • Blood disorders
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure

Products Containing PFAS:

  • Nonstick cookware
  • Paint
  • Food Packaging
  • Fabrics
  • Plastics
  • Polishes
  • Waxes
  • Electronics
  • Shampoo
  • Firefighting foams
  • Cleaning products

How Can ZeroRisk Cases® Help Your Firm Sign Up PFAS Litigation Clients?

ZeroRisk Cases® is dedicated to helping those injured by defective drugs, medical devices, consumer products, and harmful chemicals.

ZeroRisk Cases® offers mass tort marking and lead generation services to law firms searching for claimants who’ve suffered severe or life-threatening injuries or side effects due to prescription medications, medical devices, consumer products, or harmful toxins.

Stop chasing dead-end internet leads and start receiving highly qualified clients.

Call 833-ZERORISK (833-937-6747) or email marketing@zeroriskcases.com to get help with obtaining PFAS case clients today.

Ed Lott, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President and Managing Partner
ZeroRisk Cases®
Call 833-ZERORISK (833-937-6747) ext 5

What Injuries Can You Suffer From PFAS Exposure?
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What Injuries Can You Suffer From PFAS Exposure?
These lawsuits focus on harm by a group of common chemicals that don’t easily break down. They can remain in the body for years if not decades, slowly causing harm that can eventually become disabling or fatal.
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ZeroRisk Cases, LLC
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