Read the full article by Sujata Srinivasan (Connecticut Public Radio)

“A new federally-funded study in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology has found that compounds called phenols, and the synthetic chemicals PFAS, were linked to different kinds of cancer in white women and women of color.

PFAS were linked to ovarian and uterine cancers mainly in white women, and phenols were linked more to breast cancer in non-white women. Phenols and PFAS are found in hundreds of daily consumer products.

The researchers stated that the racial differences are particularly impactful because of racial disparities in exposure to these chemicals.

Nicole Deziel, member of the Yale Cancer Center and associate professor of epidemiology (environmental sciences) at Yale School of Public Health, who is not associated with the study, said the findings ‘provided a lot of new information suggesting that exposure to PFAS could be associated with a variety of hormonally related cancers, particularly in women.’

97% of Americans have PFAS in their blood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A major source of PFAS contamination is water. The U.S. Geological Survey states that 45% of US drinking water is contaminated with PFAS.

An interactive map from the Environmental Working Group shows several sites in Connecticut with PFAS levels in water above the proposed limit.

The study also found that women who were exposed to these chemicals doubled their odds for melanoma.

But many people find it daunting to research which chemicals are in which products in their price range.

For instance, Greselda Lopez makes a living as a house cleaner in the Greater Hartford area. When asked through a Spanish language translation app if she’s heard of PFAS, she said she had not.

Deziel said the onus shouldn’t have to be on consumers.

‘It’s really incumbent upon regulators to ensure we have safe consumer products,’ she said.”