PFAS, a man-made chemical, developed for industry use back in the 1950s, is linked to health concerns like increased cancer risk and infertility.
The U.S. made more of an effort to phase out any products that contain these chemicals within the last decade.
Research shows exposure to PFAS in daily use items such as non-stick coatings on cookware or water resistant clothing is typically quite low, but the risk is higher with things like contaminated food and water.
The chemical does not evaporate easily, so air quality is not too big of an issue, but the dumping of this chemical into water wells and soil is cause for great concern.
Here are the main ways humans are exposed to PFAS:
- homes where carpet was treated with PFAS to resist stains
- water wells need factories where PFAS are used
- locally caught fish
- breast milk (PFAS can move from a mother's blood into her breast milk, at relatively low concentrations)
The main consumer products where PFAS are found:
- some grease-resistant paper, fast food containers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes & candy wrappers
- nonstick cookware
- stain resistant coatings used on carpets, textiles, etc.,
- water resistant clothing
- some personal care products (shampoo, dental floss) and cosmetics
- paint, varnishes & sealants
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