Nontoxic without the Nonsense: PFAS aka Forever Chemicals

clean beauty non-toxic living non-toxic without the nonsense Aug 13, 2021
nontoxic without the nonsense

They say nothing lasts forever… 

But “they” didn’t know about forever chemicals…


So what are these forever chemicals anyways? 

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, PFAS for short, are man-made chemicals that have been around since the 1940s. They get their nickname- forever chemicals- because they don’t break down and build up over time. Unfortunately, we have also known for many years that they have serious implications in our health and well-being. 


Where can PFAS be found?

They are used in many different industries and have been found in:

  • Food packaged in PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that used PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
  • Commercial household products, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams. These are also a major source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs.
  • Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
  • Drinking water, typically localized and associated with manufacturers, landfills, wastewater treatment plants, or firefighter training facilities. If you want to check the safety of your tap water, click here
  • Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time. We are not able to metabolize these chemicals. 

Although some PFAS chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.


What are the health implications of PFAS?

Studies indicate that forever chemicals can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney and immune system effects in laboratory animals.

In humans, they have been associated with: 

  • Elevated cholesterol levels 
  • low infant birth weights,
  • effects on the immune system,
  • cancer 
  • thyroid hormone disruption   


How are we exposed to PFAS?

Through our food & drinking water: 

  • Contaminated soil and water used to grow the food,
  • Grease resistant food packaging, fast food containers/wrappers, microwave popcorn bags
  • Equipment that used PFAS during food processing.
  • Check the safety of your drinking water here (link to EWG site) 

Using products containing PFAS:

  •  Stain or water repellent clothing, carpets or other products
  • Paints, varnishes and sealants
  • Cleaning products
  • Non-stick cookware (Teflon)
  • Cosmetics and personal care products (eye make up, lipsticks, dental floss, shampoo)



What can we do?

1. Minimize our exposure and your levels will decrease over time. 

2. Educate others by sharing this information with them! 

3. Advocate for change. 



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