Contaminated Water May Pose Personal Injury for Over 6 Million People Across America

How bad can water possibly be for you? It is hard to imagine that something coming from the ground, and in most instances, looking so pure, could be at the heart of so many serious health conditions and diseases, but it just may be that contaminated water may be at the helm of personal injury cases for over six million people nationwide.

Just as everyone is starting to heal from the Michigan lead water incident, a new plague has been detected in the drinking water of most Americans from coast to coast. It is estimated that as many as six million people are drinking water that contains toxic levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Levels that wildly exceed the EPA’s standards are being detected in drinking supplies all over the nation.

A personal injury attorney in Houston agrees with researchers from the esteemed Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, along with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, findings of the 4864 samples they took, across thirty states, 194 of them found traces of these toxic substances.

Just like most contaminants found in our environments like asbestos and lead, when they were developed over 60 years ago, no one knew how harmful they could be or the risk they pose to people who are exposed to them. PFSAs are found in everything from firefighting foams to cooking utensils. The problem is that after 60 years, the material from all the products that they were used in, are beginning to break down and are filling landfills and leaking into water supplies.

Carcinogen in nature, high-exposure to these harmful substances pose a severe public health risk. Linked to cancer, they have also been involved in lawsuits regarding testicular cancer in men, which was a very high-profile suit waged against DuPont. They are still tied up in the court system fighting against their responsibility in the exposure.

The most detectable water traces were all concentrated in the following 13 states, which accounted for 75% of all detection in the samples taken, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, California, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Minnesota.

The biggest problem with these substances is that since they were once thought harmless, there was no control placed on their use, nor how they were to be disposed of. That is why they are making their way into our drinking water systems. The number of people they determined who were likely exposed to levels higher than acceptable, is over six million and counting. Only an estimate, there are many places that have yet to be examined.

PSFAs are not only associated with an increased risk of cancer, but they have also been associated with obesity, endocrine disruption, birth defects, elevated cholesterol levels and certain immune suppression conditions. Used in industrial and commercial plants, the highest concentrations are typically found near plants such as those occupied by the DuPont company.

Currently, DuPont is facing more than 3500 personal injury suits for their alleged unscrupulous acts of “dumping” by-products into local lakes and waterways, specifically in the Ohio River. The residents living close by were unwittingly drinking the contaminated water, and it has led to epidemic levels of health consequences such as testicular and kidney cancer diagnoses.

The EPA has recently been forced to revise their guidelines about the health consequences and acceptable levels of contaminants in drinking water thanks to advocacy groups and the public health officials. The new guidelines have been revised to limit long-term exposure of PSFAs and PFOAs to 70 parts per trillion. A much lower threshold than the proceeding limit of 400 parts, it is an extreme overhaul in the way that these chemicals are acceptable in drinking water.

The huge push results from the high rates of cancer, particularly testicular and kidney, found in abundance in residents who live nearby industrial and commercial plants and the various lawsuits being initiated by those who have become ill due to their exposure.

The problem with any chemical once introduced into the marketplace is that it has the potential to be harmful to the public. Unfortunately, the generation before didn’t have the means for wide-scale testing, nor could they anticipate what would happen once chemicals started to breakdown. The next several decades will have to deal with the cleanup of contaminants that no one dreamed would wreck the havoc they have for future generations.