What are PFAS/Forever Chemicals?
PFAS stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. It is a group of man-made chemicals that include Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA).
These chemicals are persistent, so they will not break down in the environment. This means it also bioaccumulates in our bodies, therefore the amount in our body increases over time.
PFAS chemicals were originally used as repellents. However, there wasn’t enough data or information to show the long-term effects until the 2000s. Many companies began phasing out the production of PFAS, with all production halted in 2015.
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How We’re Exposed
We’re exposed either through inhalation or swallowing. For example, workers who use PFAS or work with materials with PFAS are exposed through inhalation. However, consumers are exposed to them through our drinking water, food, or the packaging products we use. Additionally, people can be exposed to PFAS when eating fish.
Although we can either inhale or swallow the chemicals, there are three main sources for how that exposure gets to us.
How Did PFAS Forever Chemicals Get In Our Water?
Some crop fields use biosolids as a form of fertilizer, which is often contaminated with PFAS. This leads to contamination in our food and groundwater.
Factories across America discharge the toxic compounds into our air and water. Additionally, some manufacturers still use PFAS in consumer-used packaging material.
Firefighting foam contains PFAS, which runs off into our fresh water systems to further the contamination.er.
PFAS are found in biosolids and sewage sludge from landfills, leading to groundwater contamination through agriculture.
PFAS are found in household products such as non-stick cookware, stain-resistant textiles, leather, carpeting, paper and packaging materials.
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FAQs About PFAS/Forever Chemicals
- Developmental delays in unborn children
- Immunity deficiencies
- Thyroid issues/concerns
- Cardiovascular health
- Cancer (kidney and testicular)
- Reproductive health issues
- Neuroendocrine issues (Kidney/liver)