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News about PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ and the Importance of Identifying Toxicity Implications

News about PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ and the Importance of Identifying Toxicity Implications

BY: Neelam Vaidya, CEO, ViridisChem, Inc. PFAS use PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are man-made chemicals used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products because of their resistance to grease, oil, water, and heat. Although low level exposure to PFAS is not well known, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that exposure to high levels of PFAS may impact the immune system. The risks include changes in liver enzymes, high blood pressure, increased possibility of kidney or testicular cancer and decreased vaccine response in children.  PFAS are not only toxic – they also don’t fully break down in the environment and have accumulated in the bodies of people and animals around the world. During recent studies CDC scientists found the presence of PFAS in nearly all participants, while others studies have found PFAS in wildlife, including polar bears, dolphins and seals.    In fact the concern about the wide exposure and persistence of PFAS in environment, and their potential impact on human and wildlife has prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to initiate a “New Chemicals Program to review Alternatives for PFOA and Related Chemicals”. See more details: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/new-chemicals-program-review-alternatives-pfoa-and   The same concern has also led Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to reintroduce a measure for national 'forever chemicals' standard that would establish a national drinking water standard for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and allow the EPA to to clean up sites contaminated by such substances under its Superfund program. See more details: https://debbiedingell.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=2975 ViridisChem’s Chemical Analyzer can help companies to identify the potential of chemical’s bioaccumulation and biotransformation, and how persistent it can be in air, water and soil. Having this information available right when the chemical is being considered as part of the product formulation, manufacturers can offer better guidance on the scope of the use of the chemical and its limitations, and also define the occupational and health risks.  Here is a visual depiction of environmental impact of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), key ingredient in Teflon by ViridisChem’s Chemical Analyzer (Score 0=lowest, 4=highest)   Test-drive the Chemical Analyzer by ViridisChem by registering for FREE trial: register here.

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