PFAS 101: What are PFAS, are they harmful, and can we avoid them?
By: Madeleine Wisecup
My journey into conscious living began due to a misdiagnosed auto-immune condition that affected my skin. One, that if not resolved I was told, could lead to cancer-words no one ever wants to hear their doctor repeat! But, it was this diagnosis (which is primarily attributed to endocrine disrupting chemicals, etc.)
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My journey into conscious living began due to a misdiagnosed auto-immune condition that affected my skin. One, that if not resolved, I was told, could lead to cancer — words no one ever wants to hear a doctor repeat! But, it was this diagnosis (which is primarily attributed to endocrine disrupting chemicals) that led me to explore, research, and want to gain a better understanding of the ingredients and chemicals used in my products.
One of the class of chemicals I kept coming across were per-and polyfluoro-alkyl substances (PFAS). While the ongoing research around PFAS is a bit alarming, the good news is campaigns such as Mind The Store, a program of Toxic-Free Future, are challenging the nation’s leading retailers to eliminate toxic chemicals in products and packaging and encouraging them to develop comprehensive safer chemicals policies.
The good news? Progress is on the horizon!
This year alone, the fifth annual Who’s Minding the Store? retailer report card, published by the Mind the Store campaign, evaluated more than fifty major companies on how well they were reducing toxic chemicals or plastics or improving their chemical policies.
According to Mind The Store, the “retailer report card shows that the largest retailers in the United States and Canada continue to make substantial progress towards reducing and eliminating toxic chemicals and offering safer, more sustainable products and packaging.” In fact, since their last report in 2019, “nearly two-thirds of retailers (64%) reported notable progress in reducing toxic chemicals or plastics or improving their chemical policies.”
What are PFAS?
Here to explore how leading retailer brands are being evaluated, which ones are failing, and which harmful chemicals you want to avoid is Mike Schade, the Campaign Director for Mind the Store. We’re also digging into all things PFAS — what are PFAS, are they harmful, where are they found, and whether or not we can avoid them, amongst other things!
This was truly an eye-opening conversation and one I am eager for you to tune in to. Especially if, similar to me, you’re looking for ways to reduce your exposure to harmful “forever” chemicals.