Toxic per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, known as PFAS or “forever chemicals,” are a family of more than 9,000 synthetic, human-made chemicals that barely break down in the natural environment, according to CHEM Trust. PFAS are used to make products water-, heat- or stain-resistant, The Guardian reported. Very low amounts of these forever chemicals in drinking water have been linked to a higher risk of cancer, immunosuppression, interference with the reproductive system and other health problems, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Forever chemicals are found in thousands of products, from disposable and fast-food packaging to popcorn bags, takeout containers, pre-made cakes, pizza boxes and products like nonstick cookware, carpets, waterproof clothing, sunscreen, cosmetics and mattresses, CHEM Trust reported. PFAS have been detected in wildlife and people all over the world.
Almost all Americans have PFAS in their blood, reported EWG. Since the chemicals don’t break down naturally, they often end up in the sewer system. Now, a new EWG report estimates that around 20 million acres of U.S. cropland could be contaminated by sewage sludge tainted by these forever chemicals.
Nation of Change, 11-05-22