Investigation finds ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS contamination in everyday household products
Do you know which chemicals are present in the household products you use every day?
A new investigation in The Guardian co-published with Type Investigations tested dozens of household items for ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS contamination.
The results confirmed that the author and his cat both had their blood contaminated with four types of PFAS. The lab tests also confirmed the presence of PFAS in at least 15 common household products, including dental floss, food packaging, and cookware.
Both the author and his cat were shown to have elevated levels of PFOA in their blood samples. PFOA was banned globally in 2019 under the Stockholm Convention, and is one of only two PFAS chemicals (the other being PFOS, which was banned in 2009) that have been regulated globally. The high-profile lawsuit that led to the PFOA ban was highlighted in the Hollywood film ‘Dark Waters’ released last year. See our ‘Dark Waters’ PFAS FAQ.
PFAS, also known as the Forever Chemicals, are a large chemical family of over 5,000 highly persistent chemicals that don’t occur in nature. PFAS are thought to be the most persistent synthetic chemicals to date, they hardly degrade in the natural environment. These ‘forever chemicals’ have been linked to a number of health issues including reduced response to vaccines, certain cancers, and thyroid disease.
PFAS are used in a wide range of consumer products; a scientific paper published earlier this month found multiple PFAS compounds present in drinking straws made from plant-based materials, which have been popularised in recent years as an alternative to plastic straws. Read more.
To learn more about PFAS: