Most people don’t have a clue as to what perfluorinated chemicals are, whether they’re harmful to humans and, if so, where and how are they encountered.
The answers are pretty clear and frightening, according to Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
PFCs are “used in many of the most common consumer products. These include non-stick coatings, waterproofing chemicals, and stain-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture, food packaging, non-stick pans, shiny coatings in pizza boxes and microwave popcorn bags,” says Sass, who is also a lecturer at George Washington University..
These toxic substances from coated products get into food, drinking water, and dust “and, then into our blood and bodies,” she says.
The Environmental Protection Agency says humans are exposed to these fluorine-containing chemicals in the womb, during infancy, and during puberty and they have enormous persistence in humans.
Sass reports that researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Danish investigators from National Hospital in the Faroe Islands studied over 650 children. The results of that study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the children’s exposure to PFCs in the womb was associated with impaired immunity in childhood, making them much more vulnerable to disease.
The chemical lobby – which use various PFCs in hundreds of products – have repeatedly blocked the EPA and other government bodies from assessing the dangers of many hazardous chemicals , Sass says.
She describes the “Four Dog Defense” that big business has developed to defend its dangerous products such as tobacco, asbestos, and toxic chemicals:
1) My dog (product) doesn’t bite,
2) My dog bites, but it didn’t bite you,
3) My dog bit you, but it didn’t hurt you,
4) My dog bit you, and hurt you, but it wasn’t my fault.
“Skeptical?” Sass asks.
“You should be,” she told Cold Truth and urges wide support for federal and state laws to strengthen chemical regulation.