PFAS: Forever Chemicals In YOUR Body

  • By Rachel Perlmutter
  • Jun 18
PFAS: Forever Chemicals In YOUR Body

PFAS are now found just about EVERYWHERE... but where do they come from?

PFAS were Born in Cookware

In 1946, DuPont made waves with the introduction of non-stick cookware coated with a chemical branded as Teflon. This marked the start of the widespread use of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in a variety of products, reaching deep into our everyday lives. Over the years, these chemicals have not only infiltrated our cookware but have also found their way into our bodies and the environment globally.

PFAS, a family of fluorinated compounds, are now present in the bloodstream of nearly everyone on the planet. In fact, 98% of Americans carry these chemicals, including newborn babies. But how exactly do these substances from our cookware end up in our bodies?

PFAS aren’t just confined to non-stick pans. They’re also used in stain-resistant carpets, waterproof clothing, fast food wrappers, firefighting foams, personal care items, and cosmetics. When these products are used or discarded, PFAS get released into the environment, contaminating water sources and agricultural lands.

Due to their incredibly strong carbon-fluorine bonds, PFAS don’t break down easily. This means they persist in the environment and in our bodies for long periods, earning the nickname 'forever chemicals.' The PFAS family includes thousands of synthetic compounds, and even small amounts of exposure have been linked to serious health risks.

The Health Hazards of PFAS

Exposure to PFAS has been associated with an array of health issues, including increased cancer risk, hormone disruption, early puberty, liver damage, thyroid disease, and weakened immune systems, which can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. For many years, the dangers posed by these chemicals were hidden by chemical companies, putting millions at risk.

Currently, more than 200 million people in the U.S. might be drinking water contaminated with PFAS. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has pinpointed potentially tens of thousands of PFAS sources across the country, from industrial discharges to landfills and wastewater treatment plants.

The EWG has set a health guideline of one part per trillion for total PFAS concentration in drinking water, based on recent scientific findings. To protect the public from PFAS exposure, stronger laws and regulations are urgently needed since exposure happens every day.

Reducing Your Exposure to PFAS

One of the most effective ways to protect yourself and your family from PFAS is by filtering your tap water. Both reverse osmosis and activated carbon filters can significantly reduce PFAS levels. It's also important to remember that exposure can come from food and food packaging.

Here are some practical steps to reduce your exposure:

  • Limit takeout or fast food.
  • Avoid microwave popcorn and instead prepare it on the stovetop.
  • Choose products that don’t contain PFAS, especially those marketed as long-lasting, waterproof, stain-resistant, or non-stick.
  • Filter your tap water

Preventing PFAS from entering the environment in the first place is crucial. Holding polluters accountable for the contamination they've caused and enforcing stricter cleanup standards are vital steps to lessen the impact of PFAS on human health and the environment. Support companies that are making sure to not include PFAS in their products.  And we hope you will support companies like ours, who are working closely with brands that are committed to being transparent and toxin-free!

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.