Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly abbreviated as PFAS or “forever chemicals,” are ubiquitous. They have also been associated with debilitating health impacts, such as cancer, birth defects, liver disease, kidney disease and more. This can make it overwhelming to know what can be done to protect yourself from the far-reaching effects of these substances. Even though scientists estimate that PFAS are present in the blood of 97 percent of Americans, that doesn’t mean that people are helpless. We’ve assembled some proven ideas from experts and advocates for how to decrease your personal risk, look out for your community and create change.
“There are companies starting to respond and you can start to get some PFAS-free products,” said Kyla Bennett, director of science policy for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), in the Food & Water Watch webinar. Lowe’s took PFAS out of its indoor residential carpets. IKEA removed it from its processing. “I think those are some victories that we can take heart from.”