When it comes to the myriad of chemicals humans interact with daily, few have garnered as much attention and concern recently as PFAS. You’ve probably heard about them, but Any Lab Test Now® is committed to keeping you and your family aware of health and wellness concerns that affect you — and this affects all of us. Read on to understand the concerns about this chemical, what’s been done to protect us from it, and what you can do to safeguard your family.

Understanding PFAS

Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals in use since the 1930s and 1940s. PFAS have properties that repel oil and water, reduce friction, and resist temperature changes. For those reasons, it has led to widespread use in a range of everyday products that we come in contact with in our daily lives, like non-stick cookware, dental floss, mascara, pizza boxes, fast food packaging, raincoats, paint, tampons, vegetables, sneakers, stain-resistant fabrics, firefighting foam — the list is endless. The concern is that these chemicals are also in our water and soil.

Why the Widespread Concern?

What scientists have discovered is that a growing number of United States communities are showing signs of toxic contamination due to PFAS. Recent data shows 3,186 locations in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two territories are known to be contaminated.

The unease about PFAS isn’t unfounded. Here’s why these chemicals are at the forefront of public health discussions:

  1. Environmental persistence: The nickname “forever chemicals” isn’t just a catchy phrase. Once introduced into the environment, PFAS don’t break down easily. Their sturdy chemical structure ensures they remain in the environment for a long time, leading to potential accumulation in water, soil, and the food chain.
  • Accumulation in the body: Just as they linger in the environment, PFAS can accumulate in our bodies. Over time, as you come into contact with these chemicals, the concentration can build up, potentially posing health risks.
  • Health implications: Exposure to PFAS has been linked to an array of health issues:
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Immune system impacts
  • Developmental issues in infants
  • Late-onset puberty in young girls
  • Increased cancer risk, especially testicular and kidney cancers
  • Hypertension during pregnancy
  • Endocrine issues
  • Thyroid issues

PFAS are unavoidable and indestructible, and that’s why they are termed “forever chemicals.” They do not break down in the environment or in our bodies. You’ve probably heard about two companies associated with the creation and use of PFAS: 3M and DuPont. Studies have been conducted for decades to learn about the resilience of PFAs, which has led 3M to make the decision to stop producing the chemical completely by 2025.

Regulatory Protection

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a stance to understand and regulate PFAS. They’ve embarked on extensive research and implemented guidelines, such as the rule for better reporting on PFAS data. Yet, the findings of PFAS in drinking water across various states, including prevalent contamination in Georgia, indicate a pressing need for even stricter regulations.

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting standards for approved levels in foods.
  • Organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) provide interactive maps that highlight areas with significant PFAS contamination, fostering awareness.
  • High-risk groups are being carefully monitored. Military personnel and firefighters are under the microscope since they are at an elevated risk due to the use of PFA-rich firefighting foams.

Answers for You and Your Family

PFAS show up in the environment and our bodies. Blood tests can determine the levels of PFAS in your body so you can understand your level of exposure. Knowledge is power. If you are seeking answers,Any Lab Test Now® is here to help with simple and convenient blood tests in our lab testing centers throughout the country.

Knowing the concerns about exposure to PFAS, we’ve developed PFASURE™ TEST FOR PFAS IN SERUM OR PLASMA which will evaluate exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by testing for sixteen (16) different PFAS that are commonly identified in people and the environment. The test will report the level of each substance and a total exposure value. This value can be discussed with your physician and used to understand your current exposure to PFAS chemicals so you can make informed choices to reduce future risks.

While it is unlikely that PFAS will be completely eliminated, armed with knowledge about these chemicals, you can safeguard yourself and your family in a number of ways.

  • Educate yourself about the products you use with PFAS and consider PFAS-free alternatives or at least minimize the use of these products when possible.
  • Invest in filtration: Given the presence of PFAS in drinking water, you can invest in a quality water filter known to reduce PFAS.
  • Stay updated: As research unfolds and regulations change, it’s essential to keep abreast of the latest developments.

Any Lab Test Now® is Your Partner in Health

Should you be concerned about your exposure to PFAS, especially in the context of the broader health implications of these chemicals, don’t hesitate to get tested. Your health is invaluable, and knowledge about potential risks is the first step in proactive protection. We can help you and your family by providing answers. At Any Lab Test Now®, we provide lab tests that give you tangible results. Call now to schedule an appointment at a lab testing center near you.