Cinnaminson, NJ, March 19th
A group of man-made chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. They are used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease and water.
EPA reports that PFAS can be found in:
- Foodpackaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
- Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products, polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products and fire-fighting foams which have been a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs.
- Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
- Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
- Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that many chemicals in this group have been a concern because they do not break down in the environment, can move through soils and contaminate drinking water sources, and they build up in animals. The agency reports that people are most likely exposed by consuming PFAS-contaminated water or food, but it can also occur by using products that contain the chemicals or from environmental exposures.
“According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the potential for health effects from PFAS in humans is not well understood,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Some, but not all studies in humans with exposure have shown that certain PFAS may affect growth, learning and behavior of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; and increase the risk of cancer. This is why we now offer water testing for 18 of these chemicals and currently accept samples from over half the states in the country. In the near future, EMSL will have even more PFAS testing options.”
EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about PFAS and potential exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/skLIprCGeX4.
To learn more about this or other environmental and industrial hygiene testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.