Forever Chemicals:
What You Can Do

Check out your products:

  • Because PFAS chemicals are so widely used, their presence in the human body is near-universal. Still, it’s possible to avoid some exposure by reading up on your products:
  • Avoid personal care products such as dental flosses that list “PTFE” or “Fluoro” in the ingredients.
  • Avoid PTFE-based nonstick pans and kitchen utensils. (Also, a “PFOA-free” label could mean that one chemical was replaced with another potentially dangerous one.)
  • Pop popcorn on the stove; microwavable popcorn bags are often coated inside with PFAS-containing coating.
  • Ditto fast-food wrappers with slick, grease-repelling coating.
  • Skip optional stain-repellant treatment on new furniture and carpet.
  • Be wary of fabrics labeled stain- or water-repellent.
  • Ask your favorite kitchen-product or outdoor-gear companies to get rid of PFAS. Amazon in December asked manufacturers of its Amazon Kitchen brands to phase out forever chemicals.

Work on clean water:

  • Drinking water is a major route of PFAS exposure.
  • Research has shown that home water filters are only partially effective at removing PFAS. The real answer is to keep PFAS from getting into drinking water.
  • The EPA in 2021 is expected to work on a national strategy for PFAS including considering a maximum contaminant level in drinking water and/or designating the chemicals hazardous, which could help contaminated sites get cleaned up. Here are some links to keep up with proposed changes, track bills, or get involved:
UF student Allison Oldnettle testing local waterways for PFAS and other chemicals. Photo by Kim Fowler

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