In Our Bodies
Nearly 99% of Americans are predicted to have PFAS in their bodies. Babies are born with PFAS in their bodies, contaminated from exposures in the womb. These chemicals are even found in breastmilk.
In Our Drinking Water
At least 1 in 20 Americans have PFAS chemicals in their drinking water, but other estimates are even higher. Scientists estimate that over 200 million Americans, more than 60% of the country’s population, are drinking water contaminated with PFAS. In some communities, especially those around military bases and airports, firefighting foams made with PFAS are the source of contaminated drinking water. Communities near PFAS production facilities and factories manufacturing products containing or using PFAS also face extensive drinking water contamination.
In Our Food
The PFAS found in take out containers and other food packaging migrates into the food you eat. Hunters are being warned not to eat deer because they are contaminated. Minnesota and Wisconsin have advised their residents to limit the number of fish they eat because of PFAS contamination. In Michigan, ranchers have seen their beef cattle contaminated due to polluted wastewater ending up in fertilizer. Additionally, farms in Maine are being forced to shut down due to polluted sludge spread on their land decades ago.
Firefighters can be exposed when they train with or use firefighting foams. Firefighters are also concerned about the use of PFAS in their protective gear. According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, firefighters are more likely to be afflicted with some forms of cancer, making cancer the leading cause of death of firefighters. This increased incidence may be due to exposures to various chemicals on the job.
In the Environment
PFAS used in products in our homes, like carpeting and clothing, get into indoor air, house dust that we breathe and ingest, or get washed down the drain into waterways. When treated food packaging is composted or landfilled, or other treated products are landfilled, they become long-term sources of PFAS to the environment. PFAS have been found in fresh and salt water environment, in wildlife, and in soil.