Your frying pan is trying to kill you.
And your carpet, paper cup and raincoat.
This link from the National Institutes of Health publication EHP explains the problem: scientifically complete and with footnotes: Alternatives to PFASs: Perspectives on the Science
Poly- and perfluoroalkyl acids (PFASs) are ubiquitous in our lives. These chemicals are used as surfactants and as water and oil repellents in a variety of consumer products such as cosmetics, food packaging, furnishings, and clothing.
Since their initial marketing more than 60 years ago, extensive research has demonstrated that the long-chain PFASs are highly persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (Buck et al. 2011). As a result, they are being phased out in many countries. However, controversy has emerged regarding the safety of the most common alternatives, the short-chain PFASs.
And this very well-written piece offers a more consumer-oriented perspective: Scientists Issue Warning Over Chemicals Common In Carpets, Coats, Cookware
On Friday, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a document known as the Madrid Statement, signed by more than 200 scientists from 38 countries. The statement highlights the potential harm of both old and new PFAS chemicals.
You may know them best as the stuff that protects your carpet from stains, keeps your food from sticking to packaging or pans, repels rain from your coat and prevents mascara from running down your cheeks. If you got a pastry with your coffee this morning, a PFAS substance probably even lined the waxy paper it was served on.
“It’s a very serious decision to make chemicals that last that long, and putting them into consumer products with high levels of human exposure is a worrisome thing,” said Blum, who was also the lead author on the statement.
In an editorial accompanying the statement, Linda Birnbaum, head of the national toxicology program for the Department of Health and Human Services, and Philippe Grandjean, chair of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark, cite the common industry practice of replacing phased-out chemicals with structurally similar ones, such as the recent swap of bisphenol S for bisphenol A.
Other experts have pinned this pattern — what Blum has previously called “toxic whack-a-mole” — on the nation’s outdated toxic chemical legislation, which allows chemicals to remain innocent until proven guilty.
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