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Why are PFAs a problem?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Toxic Tort Defense

Authorities and media sources call per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) forever chemicals because they never break down and thus last “forever,” easily contaminating food and water sources. The reason they are a problem for companies is that nearly any produced substance contains PFAs in some variety, leaving many open to possible litigation.

The health risks of PFAs

A major component of PFA contamination stems from studies on the impacts of PFAs. These studies found that PFAs often mean a host of potential issues, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased birth weight
  • Liver enzyme changes
  • Cancer risks

Since exposure to PFAs is ubiquitous across the county after years of unregulated or unmonitored use, many companies may face such litigation.

Are there defenses?

In any kind of toxic tort, the defenses are limited to a few different avenues, typically looking to divide up liability between producers and users. A notable example would be a builder using a material that contained PFAs; who is more at fault for the injuries, the producer of the material or the builder?

However, there is also significant evidence that the worries over PFAs are perhaps overestimated. The CDC admits that the studies on PFA exposure were to animals and in greater amounts than people are experiencing. That may mean the science is still out.

“Hard evidence” may not be necessary to face litigation

While the scientific side may remain unsettled, there are still aggressive cases made against industries and companies. In some cases, these companies have chosen to settle rather than risk massive costs and potential losses.

When it comes down to it, your own goals will matter as much as anyone else’s when it comes to your litigation in a PFA case. You need to know if you think it’s worth it to fight or not. No one can make that decision for you.