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Health Risks Associated With PFAS Poisoning

PFAS are per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances found in drinking water, food products, and other consumer products. PFAS are also used in furniture industries, paper packaging, and more. As they are used in products used daily, humans can get easily exposed to these chemicals, and in high concentrations, these can have adverse effects. 

PFAS testing and treatment are of great value; regularly checking PFAS concentration in drinking water can help you and your family stay safe from the adverse effects of chemicals. Children, older adults, and immunosuppressed individuals are at a high risk of complications resulting from PFAS poisoning. 

What adverse effects can occur due to PFAS poisoning? 

Studies on the adverse effects of PFAS are still ongoing, with different studies using different PFAS chemicals, individuals, and concentrations, and possible health effects of PFAS have been listed down. However, additional studies have reported different health conditions after PFAS poisoning. A few health conditions associated with PFAS poisoning have been discussed below. 

  1. PFAS increases cholesterol levels in the blood. 

    With the increase in cholesterol levels, a person may have a high risk of developing atherosclerosis( cholesterol gets deposited in the inner walls of arteries). Such a person may be at an increased risk of myocardial infarctions. 

  2. PFAS are known to reduce the immune response in children after vaccination. 

    Studies have shown that PFAS reduces the immune response of individuals. A person having a high concentration of PFAS may have a weakened immune system. Moreover, children who receive vaccinations fail to develop immunity against a particular disease. 

  3. PFAS alters the levels of liver enzymes. 

    PFAS may elevate or decrease the enzymes present in the liver. According to the reports, PFAS disturbs the fat metabolism in the liver and leads to programmed cell death of liver hepatocytes resulting in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In such a condition, the concentration of enzymes ALT( alanine aminotransferase) and AST( aspartate aminotransferase) gets elevated. 

  4. PFAS increases the risk of hypertension in pregnant women. 

    PFAS poisoning is known to elevate both systolic and diastolic pressures. Even in males or nonpregnant females, PFAS poisoning has elevated blood pressure. 

  5. Newborns have low weight at birth. 

    PFAS poisoning can lead to congenital disabilities like stillbirths, premature deliveries, and more. Out of these, low body weights have been reported most frequently. 

  6. Cancer. 

    PFAS chemicals are associated with cancerous changes, and the most common sites of cancer are the testes and the kidney. 

The health mentioned above effects may be observed in one individual and may not be seen in another. Studies are still ongoing about how humans and animals react to PFAS.

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