Read the full article by Jessian Choy (Sierra Club)

“Some of the most hazardous chemicals to human health and the environment are in just about everything we purchase and consume, whether it’s personal-care products, food packaging, cookware, or clothes. Known as PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are commonly used to make surfaces nonstick and resistant to water and grease. PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, do not naturally degrade. They are found in the blood of 99 percent of Americans. And there’s no way to remove them from our bodies.

Exposure to PFAS such as the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) has been linked to a variety of health problems, from an increased risk of kidney and testicular cancers to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes. PFAS exposure may even increase the likelihood of COVID-19 infection (and more serious symptoms).

PFAS can migrate from everyday products to drinking water, and most water purifiers do not remove them. In a new study, researchers at Northeastern University identified more than 57,000 sites that are likely to be contaminated with PFAS, including water-treatment plants.

This year, the EPA confirmed that there is virtually no safe level of PFAS in drinking water. Even so, the federal government has still not established limits for PFAS in water, food, or consumer products, leaving states to set their own. Some organizations look to Denmark’s PFAS threshold: no more than 20 parts per million in paper foodware.

Fortunately, there is momentum for change in the US. Some states have banned PFAS in products such as food packaging, cosmetics, textiles, and carpets. And thanks to a raft of new studies, we now know a lot more about what products are safer than others.” …