Hidden chemicals are in more places than you think.
Last week’s blog post focused on the dangers of non-stick pans and their coating. Knowing we all only have so much time to read I wanted to keep it as brief as possible. Unfortunately PFC’s (Perfluorinated Chemicals) invade our lives in many ways. While many are unavoidable, it’s good to eliminate or cut down when we can.
Where are PFC’s Found?
PFC’s are a man made product that can now be found in water, soil, mother’s breast milk and in the majority of our bloodstreams. It has been found in animals all over the world despite where it is manufactured.
Where is it coming from?
Inside our houses we can find it on our “scotch guarded” or “stain resistant” carpets and furniture that children are playing, lying and crawling on that was manufactured previous to 2002. It is on our non-stick pans (see last weeks blog). It is coating packaging for oily foods such as popcorn bags, sandwich wrappers, outdoor tents, some cosmetics and shampoos, french fry and pizza boxes. Worse? We are also wearing them-all our Polartec, Gore-Tex and water repellant clothing still contains these chemicals. Greenpeace tested and found PFCS in Northface, Patagonia, Adidas, Columbia and Jack Wolfskin jackets. It was also found in Nike and Puma shoes, the apple sport wristband and Oral B glide floss.
Why is it concerning?
PFC’s are likely a carcinogen. They have proven to cause mammary gland tumors in animals and liver and thyroid cancer in rats. They may cause liver or kidney damage in addition to reproductive problems. While some of the older versions of these chemicals are no longer in use in the United States the “replacements” have not proven to be a safer alternative.
What can you do?
They are impossible to avoid entirely since the soil and water are contaminated. Ideally the less we buy in the future; the less production of more is created. Skip the microwave popcorn and get an air-popper again. Read your shampoo labels and find ones without PTFE or “Fluoro” ingredients. Choose a safe floss. Next time you purchase coats, carpets or furniture, skip the coating. Every toxin adds up. Unfortunately we all know many (often young) people fighting cancer. Usually there is not one particular cause. Of course your floss alone isn’t going to kill you, but someday it may have saved your life to skip as many toxins as possible when you are able. Why not?