Health risks

Exposure to PFAS at even extremely low levels has been linked to a number of serious health issues:


  • an increased risk of cancer

  • reproductive and developmental problems

  • thyroid hormone disruption

  • high cholesterol

  • ulcerative colitis

  • reduced immune function


Infants and small children are particularly vulnerable to PFAS exposure.

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Exposure to PFAS presents a higher risk for infants and small children because they tend to drink disproportionate amounts of water and their bodies, including their immune systems, are still developing. Studies have also shown that PFAS in the body of a nursing mother tends to concentrate in her breast milk.

The State of Wisconsin has proposed a health standard of 20 parts per trillion for PFAS.

In 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency established a health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS individually and combined. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has proposed a standard of 20 parts per trillion based on more recent scientific findings. 

Learn more about the health effects of PFAS exposure here:

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