PFAS Blood Testing
PFAS have been found in the environment and in the blood of humans and animals worldwide. Most people in the United States have one or more specific PFAS in their blood, especially PFOS and PFOA.
Blood tests for PFAS are most useful when they are part of a scientific investigation or a health study. A scientific investigation can show the range of blood PFAS levels in community members and may provide information on how the levels vary among different populations. The data from these studies can also help community members who were not tested to estimate their likely blood PFAS level.
If you are concerned and choose to have your blood tested, test results will tell you how much of each PFAS is in your blood but it is unclear what the results mean in terms of possible health effects. The blood test will not provide information to pinpoint a health problem nor will it provide information for treatment. The blood test results will not predict or rule-out the development of future health problems related to a PFAS exposure.
In addition, blood testing for PFAS is not a routine test offered by most doctors or health departments. If you would like to have your or your children’s blood tested, talk to your health care provider. You can also seek guidance and how to interpret blood test results from your regional Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU). However, PEHSU does not offer PFAS testing.
Remember that PFAS are found in the blood of humans and animals worldwide. Most people in the United States have one or more specific PFAS in their blood, especially PFOS and PFOA.
PFAS in levels in the U.S. population
Since 1999, CDC has measured several types of PFAS in the U.S. population as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES is a survey that measures the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. In particular, the survey has measured PFOS and PFOA. With the decrease in production and use of some PFAS, the national PFAS levels also have dropped over time. From 1999 to 2014, blood PFOA and PFOS levels declined by more than 60% and 80%, respectively (www.cdc.gov/exposurereport).