Updated: Nov 4, 2021
The CDC has recently acknowledged growing concern for a group of chemicals known as PFAS (Per- and Polyfloroalkyl substances ). This is a large class of chemicals up to 5,000 different compounds and is often referred to as a "forever chemical." The carbon-fluorine bond is one of the strongest and is water and oil resistant. It has gotten this name because of the inability of this type of bond to break down or degrade in the environment and within the body. This causes the chemicals to build up in our blood and in the world around us. They have been shown to pose significant health risks to humans and animals.
1930 - PFAS were first synthetically created by Dupont in the 1930s and was largely manufactured by the 1950s. During that time the chemical was presumed safe. It was then used in many consumer products such as stain-resistant coatings in clothing, carpets, and non-stick cookware.
1968- Over the years its use only increased and now PFAS are commonly used in clothing, paints, fire-retardants, cleaning products, food packaging, food processing equipment, and has contaminated drinking water in many areas of the country. PFAS was identified in the first human blood sample in 1968 when large manufacturing plants were well underway.
1980 - Studies performed in the 1980s revealed serious health risks in rats and mice. Health risks associated with PFAS involved multiple body systems such as reproductive health, congenital defects, immune function, and the incidence of some types of cancer.
1999 - In 1999 a study showed that more than %98 of the general population had some level of PFAS detected in their blood which illustrated the extent of human exposure. Researches also suggest that now every baby born will have some level of PFAs detected in their blood.
2005 - 69,000 people who lived and worked in the region of the largest PFAS plant, Dupont Washington Works Plant, were tested and the negative health effects were "probable" and determined to be more likely than not.
2006 - Eight manufactures of PFAS began to phase out a particularly concerning PFAs known as PFOA. In the next few years, the Environmental Protection Agency began monitoring drinking water and draft a toxicology report.
From FDA's website directly:
October 18, 2021
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is pleased to be part of the White House’s government-wide approach to protecting Americans from PFAS pollution and welcomes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of a roadmap prioritizing efforts to address PFAS in the environment. As highlighted in the Biden-Harris Administration Fact Sheet, the FDA will continue to expand its research, surveillance, and consultation with states to better understand dietary exposure to PFAS and work with our federal partners to ensure that the U.S. food supply remains among the safest in the world...
...The widespread use of PFAS and their ability to remain intact in the environment means that over time PFAS levels from past and current uses can result in increasing levels of environmental contamination. Accumulation of certain PFAS has also been shown through blood tests to occur in humans and animals. While the science surrounding potential health effects of this bioaccumulation of certain PFAS is developing, evidence suggests it may cause serious health conditions."
After doing a bit of research on this topic, I learned that there have been some significant claims in the past 20 years that associate PFAS contamination ranging from birth defects and increased risk of cancer. There is a documentary called "The Devil We Know" that looks at the alarming effects of assuming these chemicals are safe until proven toxic. In the film, they compared the contamination to an "out-of-control bubble bath" in which the chemical contamination was undeniable. The lesson here is that the number of toxins we are exposed to is even higher than we think! Be proactive in your quest for non-toxic living and reduce toxins whenever and where ever you can!
From the desk of Dr. Lisette Miller Kondrad. Dr. Miller is a licensed Chiropractic Physician and Board Certified Acupuncture Provider who has been in clinical practice for over 7 years. She has helped hundreds of patients through chiropractic care and acupuncture. Click here to contact Clark Road Chiropractic Center with any questions or to schedule your appointment!