Methods to reduce exposure to toxic cancer-causing substances Methods to reduce exposure to toxic cancer-causing substances

Methods to reduce exposure to toxic cancer-causing substances

Methods to reduce exposure to toxic cancer-causing substances
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Some of the most "innovative" everyday products are made using chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) chemicals that are resistant to degradation and degradation.

There are about 15,000 different PFAS chemicals (perpetuity chemicals), each with a slightly different chemical structure, but all of them contain at least two carbon-fluorine bonds to prevent spoilage, which can also cause them to build up and persist in our bodies and environment for decades.

They can spread everywhere, from rainwater and snow to soil and groundwater, and as a result, PFAS have accumulated in the food chain and in humans.

However, PFAS exposure can be significantly reduced by avoiding unnecessary contact with items directly treated with PFAS, and choosing PFAS-free alternatives.

Here are 4 types of products to look for:


1. Stain-resistant textiles

People can be exposed to PFAS through inhalation of dust that has been in contact with these products, as well as direct contact and absorption through the skin.

Stain-fighting products contain at least one PFAS, including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), or perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS).

When purchasing rugs and sofas, save money and do not use the additional stain-proofing option, unless there is a guaranteed PFAS-free option.

2. Packaged food and cookware

PFAS are used to make ready-meal packaging, greaseproof paper, plastic containers, and even disposable plates and bowls. Avoiding fast food and single-use packaging will likely reduce your exposure to PFAS.

PFAS are also found in many nonstick cookware. Once the nonstick coating begins to peel, replace pans with PFAS-free options like ceramic or stainless steel.

3. Outer clothing

PFAS have been used to provide waterproofing properties to outerwear, such as coats, gloves, and pants. 

Many brands offer PFAS-free options (check labels for more information). 

4. Cosmetics

PFAS are routinely used in cosmetics, including foundation, concealer, and lipsticks, as well as detergents and hair and shaving products.

A recent study showed that cosmetics can sometimes increase the ability of PFAS to pass through the human skin barrier into the human body.

Some PFAS may be toxic to humans, and have some links to cancer, brain development, reproductive problems, hormone imbalances, diabetes, and obesity.

Action is needed to develop chemicals with a better understanding of their safety before mass production. The best way to reduce people's exposure is to remove PFAS from the market completely.

The report was prepared by Daniel Darragh, lecturer in environmental health from the University of Birmingham.

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