Pfas RESEARCH update

Source: The Guardian: An estimated 97% of Americans have PFAS in their blood, and 45% of US drinking water is contaminated with the chemicals. Photograph: Morsa Images/Getty Images

Increasingly the media is commentating on concerns surrounding PFAS as new research finds evidence that exposure to PFAS and phenols can increase odds of certain ‘hormonally driven’ cancers for women.

In an article on 18th September the UK National newspaper The Guardian reported that Women who have been exposed to several widely used chemicals could face increased odds for ovarian and other types of cancers, according to new research that has been funded by the US government.

Referencing data and insights collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a team of academic researchers found evidence that women diagnosed with some “hormonally driven” cancers had exposures to certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are used in thousands of household and industrial products.

They found similar links between women diagnosed with cancer and high exposures to phenols, which are commonly used in packaging for food products, colour dyes and personal care and beauty products.

The US study which was published earlier this month in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiologydid however not find similar associations between the chemicals and male cancer diagnoses. PFAS chemicals, in particular, may disrupt hormone functions specific to women – a potential mechanism for increasing their odds of hormone-related cancers, the researchers determined.

Its very difficult for human beings to avoid exposure to PFAS in everyday life, as the chemicals are widespread in the environment. Often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down naturally. PFAS residues can persist in water, soil, air and food and an estimated 97% of Americans have PFAS in their blood, according to the CDC. The US Geological Survey (USGS), a unit of the US Department of Interior, says that 45% of US drinking water is contaminated with PFAS. The new study is based on analysis of data collected through a CDC biomonitoring program from 2005 to 2018 involving more than 10,000 people. Researchers looked at prior cancer diagnoses and levels of PFAS and phenols in blood and urine collected from study participants.

The researchers have commented that it is important to note that the work does not prove that exposure to PFAS and phenols led to these cancer diagnoses, but the work is a strong sign that the chemicals play a key part and there needs to be further research and investigation.

This article was amended on 20th September 2023 sourced from The Guardian newspaper and we wanted to share this update considering the amount of questions we receive regarding Coldstream Filters and whether they remove PFAS, which our Coldstream Max filters do. Please review our test data sheets here: Performance datasheets – Coldstream UK (

We will endeavour to provide further updates and commentary on what we understand to be increasing contaminants of concern, namely PFAS but also surrounding microplastics.