Home Tech Searching for ‘Forever Chemicals’ From an Endless Landfill Fire

Searching for ‘Forever Chemicals’ From an Endless Landfill Fire

0 comment
Photo by Cahaba Riverkeepers David Butler addresses residents at this month's meeting in Moody.

Testing conducted by ADEM, Butler said, also did not evaluate water samples taken at locations closest to the landfill. And while PFAS compounds are certainly common, experts have concluded that elevated levels in the human body could be a legitimate health concern.

At this month’s meeting, many residents agreed with Butler and expressed their lack of confidence that ADEM — or any government officials — are looking out for residents in and around the Moody location.

Courtesy of Lee Hedgepeth/Inside Climate News

Jeff Wickliffe, chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, told attendees he believes more data is needed to fully understand what impact the site might have had on nearby residents.

Because there are no natural sources of perennial chemicals, Wickliffe says, it’s hard to believe that only vegetative material was burned at the site, given the levels present in the water. Other waste was likely present, he argued, to produce the levels of PFAS compounds present at the Moody site discharge.

Questions about the source of PFAS in residents’ blood, if any, can be answered by, for example, conducting background measurements on individuals not exposed to the effects of the fire and resulting pollution, Wickliffe said.

By testing residents’ blood or urine for the presence of such substances, locals can document at least one potential impact of the Moody site on their health, he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), increasing exposure to PFAS compounds can increase cholesterol, decrease birth weight, decrease antibody responses to vaccines, and increase the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and kidney and testicular cancer .

The risk of health effects of PFAS is determined by exposure factors such as dose, frequency and duration, as well as by individual factors such as susceptibility or disease burden, the federal agency said.

You may also like