Forever chemicals in our body

Habits to Healthy Blog Post 10

What are ‘forever chemicals?’

Per/poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are highly toxic man-made chemicals that don’t degrade overtime and accumulate in the environment AND the body. We are stuck with ’em forever. Literally.

The first known PFAS was introduced in the 1930s but became widespread as Teflon by DuPont. As you may be aware, there’s been controversy and investigations, including the horrific but true story of the movie, Dark Waters. It’s about toxic waste dumping into our water systems.

Today, PFAS are in everything ‘nonstick.’ A few examples are:

– food packages: paper and cardboard from fast food, take out, and baked goods

– clothing & household goods: furniture, carpet, things coated with polishes, wax, flame/stain resistant and water repellent fabrics

– nonstick cookware: Teflon, plastic cooking utensils, baking trays

– workplace: electronic manufacturing, oil recovery

– drinking water: near facilities such as landfill, wastewater treatment, firefighter training sites, airports, military bases

Heavy use of PFAS for the past 75+ years has resulted in contaminated soil, water, and blood of animals and humans. Because these toxic chemicals persist, nearly 99% of Americans have detectable PFAS in the bloodstream including newborn babies.

Studies have linked PFAS to increased risks of:

– cancer
– infertility
– autoimmune disease
– immune system dysfunction
– low birth weight & birth defects
– hormone dysfunction
– heart disease (high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc)

Chronic disease, inflammation, hormone dysfunction, cancer… these things don’t happen overnight. Environmental toxins can accumulate over time and the body will try it’s best to function optimally until… it just can’t keep up.

What can we do about these ‘forever chemicals?’ REDUCE our exposure the best that we can.

– drink filtered water
– swap nonstick pans with stainless steel & cast iron
– cook with wooden, bamboo, or silicone cookware
limit fast food, take out, & packaged foods

More reasons to ditch fast foods and eat whole foods! Even if it’s one less fast food/take out meal this week or enjoying hot coffee in a mug rather than a to-go paper cup… every step counts!

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