An estimated 110 million Americans are affected by PFAS contamination. PFAS are highly toxic chemicals that can accumulate in the body and the environment over time and cause adverse health effects. The parties responsible for negligent PFAS disposal practices and other violations should be held accountable for the damages caused.
If you or a loved one of yours have suffered injuries caused by PFAS chemicals, contact The Oshman Firm at (800) 400-8182 to learn about your rights and legal options. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation to answer your questions and determine your next course of action.
What are PFAS Chemicals?
PFAS stands for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, which is a group of man-made chemicals. These chemicals have been manufactured and used in various products and industries throughout the U.S. since the 1940s. They are linked to permanent, debilitating human health effects, including cancer, birth defects, and other major medical conditions and injuries.
Common uses of PFAS have included non-stick coating on cookware, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, firefighting foams, certain cosmetics, and water-repellent clothing. Furthermore, the irresponsible disposal of PFAS chemicals has led to widespread contamination of water sources and soil.
PFAS substances or “forever chemicals” tend to be highly persistent — meaning that they don’t break down easily and can accumulate over time in both the human body and the natural environment. PFAS lawsuits have become necessary to compensate the victims and families of those who have suffered health problems due to these substances.
The group of PFAS chemicals includes:
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
- Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
- Various other chemicals
Of these, PFOA and PFOS have been the most widely produced and extensively studied. For instance, PFOA and PFOS were formerly used in DuPont’s Teflon products, 3M’s Scotchgard products, and other similar materials.
What Health Risks and Injuries are Associated with PFAS?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists various connections between PFAS levels in the blood and harmful health effects. Health risks and injuries include:
- Resistance to childhood vaccines
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Changes in liver enzymes
- Birth defects and decreases in infant birth weights
- Increased risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women
- Increased risk of cancer, especially kidney and testicular cancer
- Suppressed immune system
- Hormonal changes
Thus, PFAS chemicals have been linked to a number of serious, permanently-debilitating conditions, injuries, and changes in the human body. They can also affect large portions of the population at once.
If you or a loved one have suffered these types of injuries and suspect that it may be caused by PFAS contamination or exposure, you may need to contact a lawyer. A PFAS lawsuit may help you obtain the compensation and remedy you deserve for your losses.
PFAS Lawsuit FAQs
Where are PFAS Chemicals Found?
Repeated exposure to PFAS causes them to accumulate in the body, where they remain without breaking down and cause various health issues. According to the CDC, PFAS exposure can occur through:
- Drinking water from contaminated sources (such as a municipal or private well source)
- Eating food packaged in PFAS-containing material
- Accidentally ingesting contaminated soil or dust
- Using certain consumer products, including non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing or fabrics, or stain-resistant carpeting
Research suggests that exposure to PFOA and PFOS chemicals from products is relatively lower than exposure through drinking water. On the other hand, many products still contain PFAS, including:
- Grease-resistant food paper
- Fast food containers and wrappers
- Microwave popcorn bags
- Pizza boxes
- Candy wrappers
- Stain-resistant coatings used on upholstery, furniture, and other fabrics
- Cleaning products
- Personal care products like shampoo and dental floss
- Cosmetics like nail polish and eye makeup
- Paints, sealants, and varnishes
Also, older products may present higher risks, as PSAS substances were heavily used before companies stopped using them or replaced them with newer chemicals. However, even the replacement chemicals may be associated with similar health risks as older PSAS chemicals.
Where is Environmental PFAS Contamination Occurring?
Manufacturing facilities, wastewater treatment plants, military bases, and other facilities have been identified as sources of PFAS contamination in the environment. Since they do not decompose easily, PFAS can travel long distances, contaminating groundwater and drinking sources. As a result, communities near and around these facilities can suffer adverse health effects.
The C8 Health Project studied more than 70,000 people living or working in the mid-Ohio Valley, where drinking water sources were contaminated with PFOA. The study showed those with elevated PFOA levels in the body had a higher risk of kidney, testicular, prostate, and ovarian cancers, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In addition, laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found toxic PFAS chemicals in dozens of U.S. cities’ drinking water supplies. High PFAS levels were detected in major metropolitan areas like:
- New Orleans
- The northern New Jersey suburbs of New York City
The mobility of PFAS increases the likelihood that large communities can be adversely affected. Get in touch with a lawyer if you need representation for a PFAS lawsuit, whether it involves yourself or several other people.
What Damages are Available in a PFAS Lawsuit?
As you can see, the injuries and damage caused by PFAS can be severe and extensive. A PFAS lawsuit can help those affected by providing compensation for the losses caused by negligent manufacturing, distribution, or disposal of PFAS substances.
While no monetary award can ever undo the harmful effects of PFAS exposure, damages in a PFAS lawsuit can provide compensation for:
- Costs of ongoing medical treatment
- Various costs not covered by insurance or workers’ compensation
- Loss of income and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death expenses, such as in a case involving terminal cancer
The amount issued in a damages award is directly dependent on the skill, capabilities, and experience of the lawyer(s) handling the case. At The Oshman Firm, we have dealt specifically with toxic tort cases for decades and will fight hard to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Our case results speak for themselves and reflect the amount of preparation we put into each of our clients’ cases.
How Can a Toxic Torts Lawyer Help Me with a PFAS Lawsuit?
PFAS lawsuits can involve a complex array of legal issues and often involve many parties and actors. Issues like causality and damages can be challenging to prove in court, and legal representation is certainly needed when dealing with such matters.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure success in a lawsuit by handling matters such as:
- Compiling and reviewing evidence to support the case
- Interviewing witnesses and gathering expert testimony
- Preparing the necessary documents and statements for trial
- Generating a sound, impactful legal strategy
- Negotiating for the best possible recovery solutions
Also, lawsuits involving chemicals such as PFAS often involve mass tort or class action filings, due to the very nature of how toxic substances spread and accumulate. These are complex legal actions, and a qualified lawyer can help when it comes to participating in such cases.
Hire a PFAS Attorney at The Oshman Firm
Exposure to harmful chemicals like PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS chemicals can lead to serious, life-long injuries and conditions. They can also wreak havoc on the environment and destroy our natural resources. At The Oshman Firm, we are passionate about the health and safety of all citizens and work hard to ensure all injured parties are compensated as they should be.
If you believe you or your loved one has been harmed by any type of PFAS chemical, contact the toxic tort lawyers at The Oshman Firm today at (800) 400-8182. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation during which we can discuss your legal options to help determine your next steps. Getting started with us is the first step toward recovering a better quality of life for yourself and your family.