PFAS Found to Build Up In Organs

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances have been increasingly detected in water sources and are commonly found in everyday products such as water-resistant clothing and fast-food packaging. While they are detected in blood in the majority of Americans, little has been known about their pathways within the body – where they go, how long they stay there, and the different pathways out of the body.

By replacing one fluorine atom with fluorine-18, a radioactive isotope used in nuclear medicine, a team of researchers have been able to trace the chemicals throughout the bodies of lab mice. They found that PFAS builds up in “all body organs tested,” including the brain, heart, liver, bones, muscle, and skin. This technology can also be used to track PFAS in wastewater. Both 3M and DuPont have phased out their use of long-chain PFAS, such as PFOA and PFOS, following multiple lawsuits from exposed communities who claim their health was harmed by those chemicals. However, the short-chain alternatives have also been shown to be toxic, are widely used in the marketplace, and this study specifically showed they are absorbed into organs like the long-chain versions.

[Source: Environmental Health News]