Read the full article by Zoë Reed (WHYY)
“Exposure to the toxic ‘forever chemicals’ known as PFAS has been linked to decreased infant and fetal growth, high cholesterol, an increased risk of kidney cancer, and a weakened immune system.
So, tests that measure PFAS levels in blood should be offered to anyone likely to have a history of exposure, and those with elevated levels should receive regular health monitoring — that’s according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).
The report is one of the first comprehensive summaries of the link between PFAS and specific health risks, and the first to provide clinical guidelines for how physicians should test and treat patients who have been exposed to the toxic chemicals.
The report is a ‘bold step forward’ for public health, said Dr. Robert Laumbach, a professor of environmental occupational health at the Rutgers School of Public Health, who studies the impacts of PFAS.
‘There has been a lot of demand from community members who are affected, understandably so, for action, for clear guidelines or recommendations,’ he said.
For decades, PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have tainted the water, air, and soil — in the Delaware Valley region and across the country. These “forever” chemicals (because they can last in the environment for decades) have been widely used in consumer products, such as nonstick cookware, flame-retardant fabrics, and some food packaging, as well as in firefighting foam used at current and decommissioned military bases.