Mar 12, 2018
by Angela Cummings and Sophia Ruan Gushée
With chemicals that are banned or phased out, you expect them not to be a concern anymore, right?
The reality is: Chemicals, like PFCs, stick around for years, even decades—both in the environment and our bodies—which is ironic when you consider how PFCs are used.
PFCs, or perfluorochemicals, are a large group of chemicals that have many names. Two common examples are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). PFOAs are in the process of being phased out, and PFOS is no longer manufactured in the U.S. However, its presence still remains.
PFOS, along with other types of PFCs, are slow to breakdown if at all. Some PFCs don’t breakdown. (1)
PFCs can affect endocrine activity, immune system function, organ damage, and developmental problems. (2) PFCs are not stored in body fat, but they can still take years to leave the body.
The Center for Disease Control has found (3):
PFCs are used to create stain resistance, water resistance and grease resistance. They are also used to create non-stick or reduced friction products. (4)
What would products with PFCs look like in your home?
PFCs have been found in nearly every person tested since 1999. These chemicals may contribute to organ damage and disrupt biological systems.
While some types of PFCs are being banned or phased out in the U.S., their presence remains in our environment and bodies. Common places where PFCs can be found include products that are stain-resistant, water-resistant, non-stick surfaces, and food wrappers.
(1)(3) Center for Disease Control
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