Patricia DeMarco Ph.D.

"Live in harmony with nature."

The “Forever Chemicals” – What you need to know, and why it matters

Since the 1950s, man-made chemicals called PFAS have been used to make non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing and consumer goods, fire retardant coatings, stain-resistant carpeting and furniture, some cosmetics, and products to resist grease and oil. The per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. They are long polymers including Fluoride molecules (perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). The next most commonly studied are perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA). PFOA and PFOS have been phased out of production and use in the United States, but other countries may still manufacture and use them.

Forever Chemicals

This is one more category of man-made chemicals introduced into wide production and use in consumer products that have turned out to have unintended consequences for the environment, and for our health.

Now ubiquitous in fresh water bodies, in the ocean, even in raindrops collected in the Arctic, PFAS are also found in the bodies of most Americans.

PFAS- The Forever Chemicals now are global contaminants. Dr. Arlene Blum and her colleagues at the Green Science Policy Institute in Stamford University have studied these materials and explain why they are harmful and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from the worst of these chemicals.

For deeper information and publications on this subject see the excellent work of Dr. Arlene Blum and her colleagues here:

PFAS in Consumer Products

Here is a four minute introduction that will give you a good overview of this issue.

And here are some resources for consumers to help you avoid PFAS in your own home:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Arlene Blum is also author of mountain adventures documenting her incredible journeys to the heights of the earth. “Annapurna- A Woman’s Place” is my favorite of her mountaineering adventures. I thank her for permission to post this material on my blog this month. You can learn more about her here