What Are PFAS Chemicals, And Should I Be Freaking Out About Them?

Some studies also suggest an elevated risk of testicular and kidney cancer in people exposed to higher levels of PFAS. Scientists are less certain about the health effects of newer PFAS compounds that replaced PFOS and PFOA, and the effects of low level exposure, Schaider says.

Despite the remaining uncertainty, scientists have found that PFAS chemicals affect “every major organ in the human body,” says Elsie Sunderland, a PFAS researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “So that is scary for me.”

But, she says, since PFOS was phased out of production around the year 2000, blood levels have dropped dramatically. “If you stop producing it, yes, you can still find it,” she says. “But we also saw a very fast and dramatic reduction in both environmental samples and people’s blood.”
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