Thursday, February 24, 2022

PFAS: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

PFAS: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

PFAS, or per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used in a variety of products since the 1940s. These chemicals are found in many everyday items, such as non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and firefighting foam. However, they have been linked to a number of health problems and are considered a danger to both human health and the environment.

One of the main concerns with PFAS is their persistence in the environment. These chemicals do not break down easily and can remain in the soil, water, and air for many years. This means that they can accumulate in the bodies of humans and animals over time, leading to potential health risks. Studies have linked PFAS exposure to a range of health problems, including increased risk of cancer, thyroid disease, and developmental issues in children.

In addition to the health risks, PFAS are also a danger to the environment. These chemicals have been found in drinking water supplies in many communities across the United States, leading to widespread concern about their impact on the environment. They can also accumulate in the bodies of fish and other aquatic life, potentially harming the food chain and ecosystems.

Despite the risks associated with PFAS, these chemicals are still widely used in many consumer products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established guidelines for safe levels of PFAS in drinking water, but there are currently no federal regulations limiting their use in other products. This means that consumers may still be exposed to these chemicals through everyday items such as food packaging and clothing.

To protect against the dangers of PFAS, individuals can take several steps. One is to be aware of the products that contain these chemicals and avoid them when possible. Another is to filter drinking water to reduce exposure. Some communities have also taken action to address PFAS contamination in their drinking water supplies, including installing treatment systems and establishing stricter regulations on the use of these chemicals.

Overall, the dangers of PFAS are a growing concern for both human health and the environment. It is important for individuals and communities to take steps to reduce exposure and limit the use of these chemicals in order to protect against potential risks.


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