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How To Keep Yourself Safe From Dangerous 'Forever' Chemicals

2 weeks ago
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How To Avoid Toxic 'Forever' Chemicals

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (collectively known as PFAS) are chemicals found in a variety of everyday products, food, water and clothing. Some of the most common items that contain PFAS include medical devices, food packaging, take-out containers, cosmetics, drinking straws and outdoor clothing. Most products advertised as waterproof, flame retardant and greaseproof contain considerable amounts of PFAS. Although PFAS once was called the "miracle" of modern chemistry, these chemicals are now responsible for a national health crisis. Because they do not easily break down in the environment, they are known as "forever" chemicals. As research scientists learn more about these compounds, alarm is growing over the negative impact these chemicals have on the environment and your health. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to limit your exposure to PFAS.

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The Dangers Posed By PFAS

While you wouldn't knowingly put yourself at risk, the prevalence of PFAS means that most people unknowingly use and consume products containing dangerous levels of these compounds. As these "forever" chemicals build up in your system, they can cause serious health problems. Many studies have closely linked PFAS to cancer, reproductive issues, weakened immunity, low birth weight, hormone imbalance, increased cholesterol and weight gain.

Manufacturers began using PFAS in the 1940s, and they are still widely used today despite studies linking them to environmental damage and health problems. Although there is now tighter government oversight regarding their use, these restrictions are not enough to curb the issues stemming from these chemicals. Companies use these synthetic chemicals due to their grease, water and oil-resistant properties. While they are useful in many ways, they pose a substantial danger to consumers.


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