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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.

There is no longer any doubt about the extreme toxicity of PFAS chemicals. 

On June 15, 2022, the US EPA announced updated health advisory levels for certain PFAS compounds. According to the EPA, the safe level for PFOA and PFOS—two of the most widely studied compounds—is near zero.

EPA updated health advisory for PFOA = 0.004 ppt (parts per trillion)
EPA updated health advisory for PFOS = 0.02 ppt

Learn more about the health effects of PFAS exposure here:

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