- by theguardian
- 29 Jan 2023
PFAS are a class of about 12,000 compounds typically used to make products resist water, stains and heat. They are linked to a range of serious health problems, and are estimated to be contaminating drinking water for over 200m people nationwide.
In the Cape Fear basin, the pollution is thought to largely stem from a Fayetteville Chemours plant that DuPont operated for decades before 2015. Airports, textile producers and other industries upstream have also discharged PFAS into the river.
The blood study has implications for which polluters are responsible and legally liable for health problems that many public health advocates and residents say stem from PFAS exposure.
And though some newer generation Chemours chemicals, like those commonly called GenX, were not detected at high levels in blood serum, some newer PFAS have been found to accumulate in organs, and in some cases, science simply cannot detect them in blood, researchers say.
However, the levels it once discharged into the river, coupled with other sources, were so high that even with the reduction, PFAS levels in drinking water around the Cape Fear basin still frequently exceed EPA advisory levels. And the 99% reduction only accounts for some PFAS compounds.
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