Exposure monitoring for toxic substances
Because of the wide use of PFAS chemicals in our daily lives, the CDC has estimated that nearly 97 percent of Americans have PFAS chemicals in their blood1. Studies suggest PFAS exposures may have an increased risk of adverse health effects in humans. Currently there are no reported clinically actionable concentrations of PFAS; however, testing for PFAS in blood helps to provide a baseline to evaluate future exposure risks. Once a baseline has been established, individuals are able to make better informed decisions and actively limit future exposure to these chemicals.
What is biomonitoring and why is it important?
Biomonitoring is a means of measures a person's exposure to chemical in the human body through fluids (blood, saliva, urine), tissue, and hair samples. These samples, once processed in a laboratory, help physicians and public health officials in determining an individuals or populations exposure to contaminates in the environment. The reference values from those tests are then compared to the general population and can help to determine whether people have higher exposure values than the rest of the population.2
Adverse health effects linked to PFAS
Scientist are still understanding the health impacts of toxic chemicals such as PFAS on both humans and animals. PFAS breaks down slowly in the environment and bioaccumulates or builds up in people, animals, and the environment over time. 3
Changes in industrial and commercial application have resulted in an extensive list of over 9,000 PFAS substances with some of these legacy compounds being linked to environmental and medical complications. Because of this, more states are starting to accept PFAS monitoring through insurance.
If you are concerned about exposure, speak to your doctor today and share the ATSDR PFAS Clinician Guidance packet and ask for PFAS serum monitoring.
Where are PFAS chemicals found: 4
- Cleaning supplies
- Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF)
- Clothing and shoes
- Drinking water
- Non-stick cookware
- Microwave popcorn bags and fast-food containers\
- Furniture and carpets
- Fish and seafood
- Personal care items
PFAS has been linked to: 5
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Changes in liver enzymes
- Decreased vaccine response in children
- Increased risk of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women
- Ulcerative colitis Decreases in infant birth weight
- Effect on the immune system Increased kidney or testicular cancer
- Disruption to thyroid hormone systems
As part of the EPA’s initiative to inform citizens on PFAS and exposure, they have provided guidelines for reducing yours and your family's risk.
 Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS: How Are People Exposed to PFAS? - One report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found PFAS in the blood of 97% of Americans
 Science Direct - Accumulation of perfluoroalkyl substances in human tissues - Abstract: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are environmental pollutants with an important bioaccumulation potential. However, their metabolism and distribution in humans are not well studied