What Products are PFAS Used In?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are chemicals that have been used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products for decades due to their resistance to grease, oil, water, and heat. PFAS are used in stain- and water-resistant fabrics and carpeting, cleaning products, paints, and fire-fighting foams. Some PFAS have also been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in cookware, food packaging, and food processing equipment.
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Which Foods are High in PFAS?
Eggs, certain kinds of meat (especially liver and other organ meats), and dairy products have been found to have higher levels of longer chain PFAS. Scientists have also warned that fruit can contain elevated levels of PFAS.
What Have Studies on PFAS Found?
Many scientific studies have been conducted on PFAS exposure and their potential health effects. While it is hard to determine that PFAS definitively cause health conditions in humans, research has shown that exposure to the substances in the environment has been associated with harmful health effects in humans and animals. Additional studies are needed to better understand the actual health effects of PFAS exposure.
Are Government Agencies Doing Anything to Restrict PFAS?
Some are. In California, a law that will go into effect in 2023 will restrict PFAS in food packaging. Maine has passed a law that will limit non-essential use of PFAS, and several other states have taken similar steps. The U.S. EPA is working to establish limits on certain PFAS in drinking water.
Does PFAS Stay in the Body Forever?
PFAS can be measured in blood for years after exposure to the substances. PFOA levels decline in blood naturally by about half every 2-4 years, assuming there is no additional exposure. This is known as a half life.
Who is at Greatest Risk of PFAS Exposure?
Because children are still developing, they may be more sensitive to the harmful effects of PFAS and other harmful chemicals. Children can also be exposed more than adults because they drink more water, eat more food, and breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults, which can increase their exposure to PFAS.
Related Article: How Do I Know If There Are PFAS in My Drinking Water?
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