Read the full article by Tom Perkins (The Guardian)
“Nearly all participants in a new study looking at exposure to PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in the US state of North Carolina have multiple dangerous compounds in their blood, and most at levels that researchers say requires medical screening.
The North Carolina State University study, which is among the largest ever conducted, checked about 1,500 blood samples from people living in the Cape Fear River basin over several years. It’s the first study to recommend screening for cancers, kidney damage, heart disease and other health issues linked to the chemicals, using newly developed physicians’ guidelines for PFAS exposure.
In most cases, the PFAS levels were much higher than the national median, and participants were ‘scared’ by the results, said study co-author Jane Hoppin.
‘But the key piece to remember is that blood is measuring the past,’ she said. ‘The [physicians’ guidelines] give us some things we can do to protect our health and, as much as possible, reduce the PFAS exposure that we currently have.’
PFAS are a class of about 12,000 compounds typically used to make products resist water, stains and heat. They are linked to a range of serious health problems, and are estimated to be contaminating drinking water for over 200m people nationwide.
In the Cape Fear basin, the pollution is thought to largely stem from a Fayetteville Chemours plant that DuPont operated for decades before 2015. Airports, textile producers and other industries upstream have also discharged PFAS into the river.
The blood study has implications for which polluters are responsible and legally liable for health problems that many public health advocates and residents say stem from PFAS exposure.” …