PFAS (poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances), a class of chemicals dubbed “Forever chemicals” for their extraordinary persistence are linked to liver cancer, lung damage and birth defects. Copious qualities are found all over our homes and have now come under the spotlight.
Have you ever tried to figure out why food does not stick to frying pans? Or why your jacket does not permit water to enter? Coating any material with these makes them resistant to heat, oil, stains and water. They are present in household utensils, food packaging and furniture just to name a few. There are 4700 different forms of these toxins being used already so there is not much to be wondered at the fact that every home everywhere in the world has large amounts of these killer chems in many commonly used products.
Consumers don’t realize the poisons they are bringing home despite strong lobby by watchdog groups because it is not easy for the average buyer to figure out what is being said in the small print of common products. Because of convenience, their use is habit forming and repurchase is almost automatic. In fact, many companies may not even know they are using these chemicals in their products.
However, there certainly is pushback. The 2019 film Dark Waters shows the severe health issues that have occurred in areas where they are heavily used or disposed of.
It is not enough. We need strong regulation and even stronger oversight as well as excellent and permeating consumer education to prevent these from continuing to proliferate.