Our world is bombarded with water pollution. Whether it’s plastic or chemicals, there’s just no reason people or corporations should be so careless. Water pollution affects us all- people, wildlife and planet alike. To the extent we can, we must help prevent any further pollution and hold those responsible accountable.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) are a group of harmful substances generally known as nonstick cookware, stainproof fabric, waterproof clothing, and grease-proof food packaging.
Most common PFASs include:
- PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s. They have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil. Source CDC
- PFOS: perfluorooctane sulfate (stain resistant materials used in furniture, carpet, tradenames include Scotchguard).
- PFOA: Teflon (C8): perfluorooctanic acid (nonstick cookware, waterproof fabric, food packaging, microwave popcorn bags)
- GenX: substitute for PFOA, used in food packaging, microwave popcorn bags, nonstick pans, stain proof, etc
PFASs (perfluorinated alkylated substances), or PFCs, perfluorinated chemicals were originally created by 3M. PFASs are persistent and bioaccumulative, they contaminate drinking water worldwide and do not break down. PFOA and PFOS were officially designated as persistent organic pollutants in 2009. Once in the environment or in our bodies they stay there a very very very long time.
“PFAS is among the most widely used class of chemicals in the world, and the particles don’t biodegrade. That means they can accumulate in the environment and animals, including humans. A 2015 study by the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found PFASs in 97 percent of human blood samples.”Source:PBS
HOW YOU ARE EXPOSED:
Stain resistant and waterproofing compounds are found in:
- contaminated water
- carpet and furniture, drapery,
- nonstick cookware, teflon
- stain-proof carpet and furniture,
- food packaging (grease-proof coating on food liners, fast food wrappers), microwave popcorn bags,
- waterproof gear and clothing, goretex, and even some dental floss contains it.
- Some firefighting foam
- During manufacturing contaminants emit into the air and are casually discharged into waterways. For years Dupont released PFOA into nearby streams despite knowing the danger.
As reported by Amy Goodman courtesy of Democracy Now, PFOA is so prominent in our environment that it’s been detected in 99 percent of Americans who’ve been tested, including newborn babies. These substances simply do not go away nor breakdown, but remain in our bodies. PFOA and PFOS were originally produced by 3M, but as the EPA started becoming concerned with these chemicals circa 1999, 3M discontinued production and Dupont took over. After being sued, Dupont sold off this division to Chemours who in recent years created GenX to replace PFOA. GenX is currently causing great concern in North Carolina where it’s been detected in the drinking water. There are no regulations yet for GenX nor have health risks been exactly determined. [i]
HOW WE ARE EXPOSED
“PFAS are found in a wide range of consumer products that people use daily such as cookware, pizza boxes and stain repellants. Most people have been exposed to PFAS. Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. The most-studied PFAS chemicals are PFOA and PFOS. Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animals. The most consistent findings are increased cholesterol levels among exposed populations, with more limited findings related to:
- low infant birth weights,
- effects on the immune system,
- cancer (for PFOA), and
- thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS).” Source EPA
Through the evidence brought forth during the lawsuit against Dupont in 2004, it was determined conclusively that overexposure to perfluorinated chemicals causes testicular and kidney cancer, liver tumors, ulcerative colitis, pre-eclampsia, and thyroid disease.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the health effects of PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA have been more widely studied than other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Some, but not all, studies in humans with PFAS exposure have shown that certain PFAS may:
- affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
- interfere with the body’s natural hormones
- increase cholesterol levels
- affect the immune system
- increase the risk of cancer
- Avoid stain resistant carpet, furniture, tainted fast food wrappers, popcorn bags, avoid nonstick cookware and teflon, limit contact with waterproof clothing.
- Drink and cook with clean, filtered water
- Many of these toxins can be found in household dust. Keep your home ventilated clean often, and vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- We have a right to know if our water is contaminated. Contact the EPA: PFASs must be regulated so that water providers are required to inform us if it’s present.
- Do you want to know what products contain PFASs? Ask your senators to fight for banning them and for labeling in the meantime.
The Lawyer Who Became Dupont’s Worst Nightmare. “The story began in 1951, when DuPont started purchasing PFOA (which the company refers to as C8) from 3M for use in the manufacturing of Teflon. 3M invented PFOA just four years earlier; it was used to keep coatings like Teflon from clumping during production. Though PFOA was not classified by the government as a hazardous substance, 3M sent DuPont recommendations on how to dispose of it. It was to be incinerated or sent to chemical-waste facilities. DuPont’s own instructions specified that it was not to be flushed into surface water or sewers. But over the decades that followed, DuPont pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds of PFOA powder through the outfall pipes of the Parkersburg facility into the Ohio River. The company dumped 7,100 tons of PFOA-laced sludge into ‘‘digestion ponds’’: open, unlined pits on the Washington Works property, from which the chemical could seep straight into the ground. PFOA entered the local water table, which supplied drinking water to the communities of Parkersburg, Vienna, Little Hocking and Lubeck — more than 100,000 people in all.” Continue to full article courtesy New York Times.
GenX found in rain
Delaying action on GenX is unacceptable
Toxic Secrets: The town that 3M built – where kids are dying of cancer
DuPont settles lawsuits over leak of chemical used to make Teflon
PFASs Fact Sheet National Institutes of Health
The above information is included in my upcoming book, stay tuned!
As shocking as this may seem, this is the green reality!
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