Everything You Need to Know About PFAS

Perfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS, are chemicals that remain under wraps in public knowledge. These “forever chemicals” take thousands of years to break down, so once they are released into the atmosphere, they are here to stay. They are commonly found in “non-stick” supplies, like pots and pans, as well as water-proof clothing and oil-resistant fast food packaging. However, when PFAS enter the bloodstream through exposure to these products or through drinking contaminated tap water, their consequences can be deadly. 

While PFAS are profitable to utilize in many commercial industries, is it worth the risk they cause to the individual? Are PFAS really that bad?

The short answer is yes, they are really that bad. While public health agencies tried to pass legislation to regulate PFAS in the 1990’s, lack of research concerning the chemicals allowed profitability to surpass safety. PFAS have been ignored in scientific research ever since, and finally now more studies are being done concerning their health risks. Most concerning are PFAS’s connections to cancer, maternal health, and birth defects. 

In recent years, doctors, scientists, and professors teamed up to stop the ambiguity surrounding PFAS’s long-term health risks, and they conducted (and continue to conduct) a series of tests linking these “forever chemicals” to specific types of cancer. The results of their first test came back with evidence stating that PFOA, a subtype of PFAS, is a “renal carcinogen… associated with kidney cancer development.”  Before, only enough evidence stood for PFAS to be potentially linked to cancer, but now scientists can undoubtedly connect PFAS exposure to kidney cancer.

Just as alarming are the effects PFAS have on mothers and their newborns. Mothers are mostly commonly exposed to PFAS through contaminated drinking water, but many consumer products also contain these dangerous chemicals. A study published in The New York Times shows that “women exposed to PFAS during pregnancy have higher risks of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, a type of high blood pressure.” Additionally, PFAS can change thyroid hormone levels in both mothers and their infants, who are exposed to PFAS through the mother’s placenta while they are in the womb and again while breastfeeding. Changes in thyroid hormones threaten brain development, growth, and metabolism in infants. Babies whose blood contains high levels of PFAS also are less likely to experience the full effects of vaccinations, and their bodies are more susceptible to infections. The more PFAS are being researched, the more their dangers are unveiled to the public. 

The most direct route PFAS takes into the bloodstream is through contaminated tap water. While people living around commercial manufacturers are more likely to have highly contaminated tap water, low amounts of PFAS are found in tap water sources across the United States, despite their proximity to industrial runoff. Tap water must be properly filtered in order to ensure that no harmful “forever chemicals” make their way into households across the States. Without a proper water filter, people are at risk of exposing themselves and their families to kidney cancer, hormonal changes, and potential birth defects for unborn children. Seychelle filters are not only affordable, but they are independently lab-tested to remove up to 99.9% of PFAS from your water. Seychelle filters are a simple way to prevent harm from finding you and your family. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are PFAS?

PFAS, or per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are harmful chemicals known as “forever chemicals.” They are tightly bound together in a manner that allows them to survive for thousands of years. 

Are PFAS harmful?

Research in PFAS was widely ignored before recently, but now new studies are emerging that link PFAS to kidney disease, gestational diabetes among expecting mothers, changes in thyroid hormones in pregnant mothers that affect the fetus’s metabolism and natural immunity. 

How can I protect myself and my family from PFAS?

Seychelle water filters are specifically designed to filter out harmful toxins, including PFAS. Filtering tap water through a Seychelle product allows for peace of mind when it comes to clean, PFAS-free water. 

Works Cited

Gross, Liza. “These Everyday Toxins May Be Hurting Pregnant Women and Their Babies.” The New York Times, 23 September 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/23/parenting/pregnancy/pfas-toxins-chemicals.html. Accessed 15 November 2021. 

NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine. “Evidence of ‘Hormone Disruptor” Chemical Threats Grows.” Science Daily, 21 July 2020, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200721184508.htm. Accessed 15 November 2021. 

“PFAS Chemicals: EDCs Contaminating Our Water and Food Supply.” Endocrine Society, 2021, https://www.endocrine.org/topics/edc/what-edcs-are/common-edcs/pfas. Accessed 15 November 2021. 

“PFAS Exposure and Risk of Cancer.” National Cancer Institute: Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, 2021, https://dceg.cancer.gov/research/what-we-study/pfas. Accessed 15 November 2021.