Home NewsroomEducation The Silent Poison of Life: PFAS

The Silent Poison of Life: PFAS

by Julie Howard

PFAS is ubiquitous, challenging to decompose, and easy to accumulate in the human body and the natural environment, causing immune system disorders, developmental disorders, infertility, liver damage, and cancer lesions. It has been confirmed by scientists that its harm is greatly underestimated.

Excessive PFAS measured in drinking water. (Photo via unsplash.com)

Dallas, TX (Merxwire) – Maine will completely ban the use of PFAS by 2030! Although the name PFAS may sound strange, most people touch and use it daily. PFAS is difficult to decompose and will penetrate soil and water sources with rainwater and sewage. According to the surprising data released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than 200 million Americans have excessive levels of PFAS in their drinking water.

The full name of PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, fluorine-containing surfactants), known as “permanent chemicals,” which are difficult to decompose, move in the environment for a long time, and eventually enter drinking water and accumulate in the human body middle. Recently, many PFAS has been detected in the soil and groundwater of Maine, and even traces of it have been found in residents’ blood. The degree of pollution is quite severe. Due to the attention of local officials, it has become the first in the United States to order comprehensive control of PFAS explicitly.

Products advertised as “waterproof and oilproof” tend to contain PFAS. (Photo via unsplash.com)

The PFAS family is extensive, covering at least 4,000 different chemicals, of which PFOS and PFOA (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid) are the most common. Excessive intake of PFAS can easily lead to thyroid disease, low birth weight in infants, immune system toxicity, and risk of diseases such as gestational hypertension and cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set a health advisory value of 70ng/L for PFAS in drinking water. Still, according to a new study published by the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), Americans drink far more PFAS in their drinking water.

Waterproof, stain-proof, and oilproof are characteristic of PFAS, which are convenient for modern life and challenging to replace. People are mainly exposed to PFAS through drinking water, cooking utensils, food packaging, cosmetics and lotions, textiles coated with PFAS, etc. Studies have found that more than half of cosmetics in the United States and Canada contain PFAS, especially those products that are advertised as “waterproof and oilproof” or “long-lasting.”

What can we do in the face of the omnipresent PFAS crisis? EPA released a series of products based on the Toxic Substances Control Act in June this year, requiring companies to conduct product testing for PFAS and control PFAS data. An expert also recommends that people donate blood regularly to reduce the concentration of PFAS in human blood.

PFAS decomposes slowly and easily flows in the environment, gradually contaminating soil and water sources. (Photo via unsplash.com)

In addition, the public can check whether the ingredients of commonly used items at home contain PFAS and carefully review the label or ingredient list. If an item containing PFAS is found, we can choose to reduce the use or not to use it. For example, the non-stick pan coating containing PFAS can be replaced with an iron pan or a stainless steel pan; if it is challenging to replace large objects such as carpets and find a substitute, you can also change the way of use, such as reducing lying on the ground, or not Place the child’s toys on the rug.

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