There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health issues in humans. If humans, or animals, ingest PFAS (by eating or drinking food or water than contains PFAS), the PFAS are absorbed and can accumulate in the body. PFAS stays in the human body for long periods of time. As a result, as people get exposed to PFAS from different sources over time, the level of PFAS in their bodies may increase to the point where they suffer from adverse health effects.
Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animal studies. The most consistent findings from human studies are increased cholesterol levels among exposed populations, with more limited findings related to:
- Infant birth weights,
- Effects on the immune system,
- Cancer (for PFOA)
- Thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS)
If you have specific health concerns, please consult your healthcare professional.
There are a variety of ways that people can be exposed to these chemicals and at different levels of exposure. For example, people can be exposed to low levels of PFAS through food, which can become contaminated through:
- Contaminated soil and water used to grow the food
- Food packaging containing PFAS
- Equipment that used PFAS during food processing