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As concerns about PFAS rise, doctors scramble to learn about the toxic chemicals

By September 5, 2022September 13th, 2022PFAS in the news

A major report from the National Academies recommended that individuals with significant exposure to toxic chemicals, known as PFAS, get a blood test and ongoing medical monitoring. The guidance covers a wide range of people, including those who live near commercial airports, military bases and farms where sewage sludge may have been used.

Yet, many doctors don’t know how to order a PFAS blood test — nor how to interpret the results when the test is done.

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“Clinicians in the state are really at a loss. And I’m sure people are asking left and right to have this test,” said Brita Lundberg, chair of the Environmental and Occupational Health Committee at the Massachusetts Medical Society. “We’ve had our own members approach us saying, ‘what should we be doing here?’”

Lundberg is drafting a resolution that, she said, would help her organization advocate on PFAS at the statehouse and with the American Medical Association.

As physicians begin to field more questions about PFAS chemicals — which are ubiquitous and associated with a host of health concerns — there are new efforts to get the medical community up to speed on the topic. But there’s also pushback, as some experts question whether blood testing is the best approach. Read more…