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Where Do PFAS Chemicals Come From?

DuPont introduced the first non-stick cookware coated with Teflon in 1946. Since then, the family of fluorinated chemicals that sprang from Teflon has grown to include thousands of toxic compounds known collectively as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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Why are PFAS Called “Forever Chemicals?”

PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their extreme persistence in the environment. Some PFAS can take more than 1000 years to degrade. This is a problem because very small doses of PFAS increase the risk of severe health problems including kidney and testicular cancer, liver damage, high cholesterol, and immunosuppression.

Related Article: PFAS Exposure Lawsuit Update

How are People Exposed to PFAS?

PFAS have been found in the soil, air, and water. People are exposed by consuming PFAS-contaminated water or food, using products made with PFAS, or breathing air containing PFAS.

One study by the U.S. CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [1.] found PFAS in the blood of 97% of Americans. Another report by the CDC suggested that blood levels of PFOS and PFOA in people have decreased since the chemicals were removed from consumer products in the early 2000s; however, new PFAS chemicals have been introduced and exposure to them is difficult to assess.

What Replaced PFOA and PFOS?

The U.S. Government has banned PFOA and PFOS and replaced them with similar, but slightly modified chemicals. While scientists have not studied each of the more than 9,000 PFAS that have been created, the chemicals that have been studied have been found to have similar properties to PFOA and PFOS. They are persistent, mobile, and toxic at very low doses, often acting in similar ways as the chemicals they were designed to replace.

Where are PFAS Most Commonly Found?

Products that contain PFAS may include:

  • Firefighting foam
  • Fast food containers/wrappers
  • Microwave popcorn bags
  • Pizza boxes
  • Candy wrappers
  • Stain-resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics 
  • Water-resistant clothing 
  • Cleaning products 
  • Personal care products
  • Shampoo
  • Dental floss
  • Cosmetic Products
  • Nail polish
  • Eye makeup 
  • Paints, varnishes, and sealants

Related Article: Household Products That Contain PFAS

Does the FDA Regulate PFAS?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized certain PFAS for use in specific food contact applications such as cookware, food packaging, and in food processing for their non-stick and grease, oil, and water-resistant properties.

To ensure that PFAS-containing products are safe for their intended use, the FDA conducts a rigorous review of scientific data prior to their authorization for market entry. The FDA’s authorization of a food contact substance requires that available data and information demonstrate that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm under the intended conditions of use.

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If you or a loved one was injured by PFAS contamination, you should contact our law firm immediately for a free case evaluation. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.

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