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Neurological Effects Due to Toxic Exposure on Military Bases

The presence of dangerous levels of PFAS in the soil at airports and military installations is not new. PFAS has been identified at hundreds of installations, as research into the Defense Department's records finds. The DoD continues to fund research into PFAS-free fire extinguishing foam, but an effective alternative has yet to be developed.

The same chemical properties (the carbon-fluorine bond, which is one of the shortest and strongest known) that make PFAS so effective in firefighting foams and other products, make them particularly hard to remediate. Most PFAS contaminated sites are military bases, for instance:

  • The highest known contamination was seen at the former England Air Force Base, near Alexandria, Louisiana, which measured 20.7 million parts per trillion of FAS chemicals, overwhelmingly over the permissible limit.
  • There are at least seven known PFAS contamination sites in Missouri, including Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base.
  • Contamination found at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, and at Hill Air Force Base, Camp Williams, and the Salt Lake City International Airport, in Utah.

In these settings, PFAS contamination with fire retardant foam is due to:

  • applications associated with fire incidence
  • system discharge
  • system testing
  • training exercises

Neurotoxicity occurs when natural or manmade toxic substances, such as PFAS, accumulate in the neurological tissue of the body and undermines the functioning of the brain and nervous system. Human exposure to PFAS has been associated with adverse health effects, including neurotoxicity. 

Animal Studies Indicate Potential Neurological Effects Associated with PFAS Exposure

PFOA and PFOS, the best studied of all PFAS are considered a public health issue as adverse health effects have been shown to affect hormones and other aspects of the endocrine system, and some are potentially neurotoxic. 

Animal testing reported neurotoxicity of PFAS in cell culture systems, as well as altered behavioral responses and deficits in learning and memory ability in rodents. Both PFOS and PFOA are potentially neurotoxic, but to what extent is unknown, especially since in most cases it may have accumulated in the brain for years or decades.

PFOS is selectively neurotoxic and relevant to specific structural, biochemical, or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord, or other nerves which can result in a range of symptoms such as:

  • muscle weakness
  • partial or complete paralysis
  • poor coordination
  • loss of sensation
  • seizures
  • altered levels of consciousness
  • difficulty reading and writing
  • poor cognitive abilities
  • decreased alertness

If you lived on a targeted military base with high levels of PFAS, either alone or with your family, you are at high risk of developing neurological symptoms which might be the sign of a severe neurological condition. We are here to help you recover the fair financial compensation you deserve.

We Can Help Determine Whether Your Diagnosis Is Related to PFAS Exposure 

If you have lived on US military bases, you may have been exposed to PFAS chemicals due to the numerous fires that are put out on the base. In order to file a claim for compensation, you will need an attorney to help draft your claim and present the evidence.

Atraxia Law can promptly connect you with the most suitable professionals in your area if you are seeking financial compensation for treatment costs, hospitalization, and pain and suffering.

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