PFCS/PFAS – Meet the Chemical Families

PFCS/PFAS – The “forever” chemical

Since my post the other day was really focused on getting plastics and non-stick products out of the kitchen, I thought it made sense to share more info on the chemical family that creates the non-stick properties so many of us love in our pots, pans and cookware and stain-resistance on our clothes and furniture.

Used in countless products for its non-stick, grease and water-repelling and fire-resisting qualities, this non-degrading family with thousands of chemical variations is now found in our water and food as much as in the products we buy. Inside the bodies of 95% of people tested, building up from our daily exposures, PFCS/PFAS have been dubbed “the forever chemical.” But just because it’s everywhere doesn’t mean you need to accept that! By drinking filtered water, avoiding certain products and  looking out for certain labels, you can minimize your exposure to these chemmies just like I did in OVERLOAD.

Uses: clothing, textiles (carpets, furniture, drapes), non-stick cooking surfaces, fast food and microwavable food packaging, adhesives, electrical wire insulation

Function: keep food from sticking to cookware and packaging, make clothes & carpets stain and water-resistant, make electronics heat-resistant, create firefighting foam

Names: PFAS, Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, PFOS, PFOA, GenX, Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster, Polartec, Gore-tex, PFHxS

How to Avoid Them: drink filtered water, avoid fabrics treated with PFAS-based stain and water-resistant chemicals listed above, use stainless steel & cast iron cookware, eat less fast food and microwave popcorn

Health Impacts: affects male & female fertility, reduces fetal growth, alters metabolism and increases risk of obesity, reduces ability of the immune system to fight infections

Source: NIEHS

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