Our Most Toxic Chemical: Who is Doing What about PFAS?

PFAS chemicals have been produced for decades and are used in shampoo, cosmetics and many, many other personal care products, as well as home products, clothing, firefighting foam, car wax, and in places they can leach into the food you put inside your body like nonstick cookware and numerous food containers including fast-food wrappers. Because of their toxicity at extremely low concentrations, there are risks from PFAS bioaccumulation. In addition to their presence in the human body–where, among other serious effects, they are linked with increased rates of some types of cancer, hormonal disruption, and immune responses–PFAS chemicals (a class of over 3000 compounds) are released into the environment, transported through groundwater, river, and soils, and can only be partially remediated.

Chemical Free Life

What is PFAS?  PFAS chemicals (per-/poly-fluroalkyl substances), are one of the most toxic substances ever identified — harmful at concentrations in the parts per trillion–and they are everywhere.  Despite the fact that there was no requirement to conduct safety testing before unleashing the PFAS chemical on the public, and despite their high toxic level, very little is known about them. What we do know is that PFAS have been labelled, “forever chemicals” because they have bonds that are among the strongest in all of chemistry.  A chemist studying the PFAS chemical family, Dr. Matt Reeves, a professor at Western Michigan University, says: “It’s almost like armor…we don’t have any evidence of degradation of these compounds.”  In other words, PFAS chemicals can potentially be in our environment forever.  Scientists don’t even talk about PFAS as having a ‘life cycle’ because PFAS has a perpetual cycle. At the present time…

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