The government released Thursday its first in-depth look at the health risks created by chemical compounds found in hundreds of military water sources and what illnesses may be linked to even minimal exposure to them.
Bottom line: The man-made chemical compounds found in military fire-fighting foam, perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid, known commonly as PFOS and PFOA, are hardy, toxic chemicals that do not degrade in soil or water, and can be absorbed by humans through drinking water, or through the soil or air. The compounds even get to fetuses. The study reported the chemicals have been found in umbilical cords and human breast milk.
In people, the study found that exposure could be associated with pregnancy complications, thyroid issues, liver damage, asthma, decreased responsiveness to vaccines, decreased fertility and kidney and testicular cancer.