If you’ve been following the news lately, you may have heard about “forever chemicals” known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). These are manmade chemicals that don’t break down in the environment and can persist in our bodies for years. They’re commonly used in everyday items like non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and firefighting foam. And while they may make our lives easier in some ways, there’s growing evidence that they can also pose serious health risks. So what are forever chemicals and how can we protect ourselves from them? Read on to find out.
What are forever chemicals?
Forever chemicals, are actually a group of man-made chemicals that never really break down or go away in the environment. They are primarily used for industrial purposes over the years such as water-repellent and non-stick products, but can also be found in items such as food packaging, carpets and furniture, even some makeup! PFAS can be dangerous because they stick around in our environment for an incredibly long time and have been linked to health problems such as thyroid disease, cancer, fertility issues, immune system dysfunction and other illnesses. Because of this it is important that we take every effort to reduce our exposure to these compounds and protect ourselves and the environment from PFAS pollution.
Health risks associated with exposure to forever chemicals
The unfortunate truth is that these persistent and potentially toxic chemicals can have harmful effects on human health if exposed for too long. In the short term, PFAS exposure can cause kidney and testicular damage, hepatitis, thyroid diseases, changes in cholesterol levels and even impaired growth. Over long periods of time the risks become even greater – disruption of program hormones, increased risk of cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility and more. While much research still needs to be done on this rapidly evolving issue, we can all take steps to minimize our exposure and hopefully reduce any nasty health consequences caused by forever chemicals.
Tips on how home and business owners can protect themselves from exposure to these chemicals
There are a few things you can do to reduce your exposure to forever chemicals:
- Use PFAS-free consumer products – When buying common household items like cookware and furniture, look for labels that say “PFAS-free” or “PFOA/PFOS-Free.”
- Filter your water – Have your water tested for PFAS and invest in a water filter that can remove these chemicals from tap water.
- Invest in air purifiers – Air purifiers can help reduce levels of indoor air pollution by trapping pollutants like PFAS before they enter your home.
- Avoid using stain-resistant items – Many carpets, fabric and furniture come with a stain-resistant coating that contains PFAS. Rather than treating these items, opt for fabrics and materials that don’t require special treatments.
- Choose natural cleaning products – Many conventional cleaners contain PFAS chemicals. Look for natural alternatives that are free of PFAS or use DIY recipes to make your own cleaners at home.
Take action to protect you and your family from these dangerous toxins
You may think that the harmful toxins used in everyday products are something impossible to avoid. But the truth is, there are steps you can take to limit your exposure and protect yourself and your family from their dangers. By educating yourself on which items or ingredients are most toxic, you can make informed choices when shopping; replacing household cleaners with more natural alternatives is a great start. Additionally, researching the regulations that products must adhere to in order for them to be legally sold will provide more insight into what toxins you should be aware of. Taking these steps now could not only save you from having to deal with some serious health conditions down the road, but also give you peace of mind that you’re doing all you can to keep yourselves safe.
Ultimately, forever chemicals are becoming an increasingly concerning presence in our environment and can put our health at risk. But with the information and tips shared here, it is possible for home and business owners to take action in order to protect their families from these dangerous toxins. The key takeaway from this article is that a few small steps of prevention go a long way to ensure a healthier future – such as regularly running air purifiers, installing a whole home water filtration system, testing surfaces, and replacing older products in your home that are prone to leaching chemicals like furniture or carpets. We truly hope that this blog post has given you the necessary knowledge, tools and resources you need to minimize your exposure to forever chemicals. Taking small actions now can be powerful investments into the health of our families and communities so don’t be discouraged if it’s not easy or clear-cut – together we can create lasting change.
* All advice in this article are our opinion only. We are not health or legal experts and you should always consult an appropriate professional for any specific advice or questions.