Summary: PFAs are substances are used to make products resistant to water, grease and stains along with an array of other applications. Scientists say exposure to PFAS is associated with a range of health problems, including a heightened risk of developing cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, decreased immunity, hormone disruption and a range of other serious health problems.
There [are] 80,000 chemicals that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency for commercial use and only 5% have been tested for human toxicity. A common harmful group of widely used industrial chemicals is called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, short-handed as PFAS. The substances are used to make products resistant to water, grease and stains along with an array of other applications. PFAS are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down. Thousands of different types of chemicals fall in the PFAS category. The CDC said three types, PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS can remain in the human body for up to nine years, depending on the compound.
Where are PFAs found? The man-made compounds are used by a variety of industries for such things as electronics manufacturing, oil recovery, fire-fighting foams, cleaning products, non-stick cookware, some grease-resistant paper, fast food containers/wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes, and candy wrappers, stain resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics, water resistant clothing; cleaning products’ personal care products (shampoo, easy slide dental floss) and cosmetics (nail polish, eye makeup); paints, varnishes, and sealants. In June 2019, the FDA revealed that it found PFAS in grocery store meats and seafood as well as in chocolate cake. Records also show PFAS in milk and produce coming from some dairies and farms. It was also shown that meat from beef cattle in Michigan contained dangerous levels of a type of PFAS called perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). (The beef was being sold to schools and to consumers at farmers’ markets.) You can be exposed to PFAS by drinking contaminated municipal water or private well water, eating fish caught from water contaminated by PFAS (PFOS, in particular); accidentally swallowing contaminated soil or dust; eating food that was packaged in material that contains PFAS; or using any items mentioned in the last paragraph.
Health Problems: Scientists say exposure to PFAS is associated with a range of health problems, including a heightened risk of developing cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, decreased immunity, hormone disruption and a range of other serious health problems. However, some studies in people have shown that certain PFAS might: affect growth, learning and behavior of infants and older children; lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant; interfere with the body’s natural hormones; increase cholesterol levels; affect the immune system; decrease vaccine response in children; increase risk of high blood pressure; small decreases in infant birth weights
FDA mitigation? There currently are several state actions underway to try to rein in use of PFAS, and in October the Biden Administration unveiled a “roadmap” aimed at restricting and cleaning up PFAS contamination.The FDA has also received “voluntary commitment letters” from certain large manufacturers, laying out a three-year phase-out of sales of types of PFAS compounds for use in food packaging. That phase-out started in January 2021. But it remains to be seen how tough the FDA is actually going to be in the ongoing effort to minimize PFAS exposure through food.
Detox? Because PFAS are at low levels in some foods and in the environment (air, water, soil, etc.) completely eliminating exposure is unlikely. But you can help by detoxing your body and going on a cleanse that can include the following: activated charcoal, methylated B vitamins and algae, fennel Seed, Buckthorn Bark, Ginger Root, Baikal Skullcap Root, Cascara Sagrada Bark, Senna Leaf, Psyllium Seed, Rhubarb Root, Aloe Vera Leaf (cut without chemicals), Barberry Root, SlipperyElm Bark, White Willow Extract, Boswellia Serrata, Turmeric Root (Curcumin Longa), Cayenne Pepper, Matricaria Recutita (German Chamomille), Marshmallow Root.