You’ve probably heard the bad news: Things called “forever chemicals” are kind of everywhere. In fact, 99% of Americans have these toxic chemicals (namely the ones called PFAS) in their blood because of how ever-present they are in our food, clothing, water, and household items.

Called "forever chemicals" because they bioaccumulate in the environment and don't break down in the body once consumed, this group of chemicals were once seen as a sort of technological miracle, but have since turned into a nightmare. But what are they and should we be avoiding them in our everyday lives?

What Are Forever Chemicals?

Created by the DuPont corporation in the 1940s, Teflon (which is known as PFOA) was the springboard for many of the “forever chemicals” that are ever-present today. Known for their non-stick, stain-repellent and water-resistant capabilities, these long-chain, fluorinated compounds were used to spawn successful brands such as 3M’s Scotchgard (which is known as PFOS), which also manufactured Teflon for Dupont.

These manufactured chemicals were most distressingly found to have made it into the water source near factories, where both 3M and DuPont knew the hazards involved in ingesting these chemicals yet did not disclose it to residents. According to the New York Times, forever chemicals can take up to 15 years to reduce by half in the human body, and centuries to disappear in our environment.

Why Are Forever Chemicals So Bad?

One of the most notable group of forever chemicals are PFAS, which stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. PFAS have been linked to fertility and thyroid issues, cancer, and liver damage, and can be found in many common products, like waterproof clothing, non-stick cookware, food packaging, and even floss. They are known to be toxic even at low levels. High levels of PFAS have been found in many popular canned sparkling water and seltzer brands and about half the tap water across the country.

While the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency has yet to enforce regulation or testing upon manufacturers, funding was approved to combat PFAS levels in water sources earlier this year.

What Food & Drinks Contain Forever Chemicals?

As you might expect, PFAS-containing food packaging and food preparation methods often cause food and drink products to have high levels of forever chemicals. Though the FDA’s testing of individual food items is still very hit and miss, some of the more common food and drinks that contain forever chemicals are as follows:

How Can You Avoid Forever Chemicals At Home?

Okay, so we started this story with a lot of bad news. But here are a few things you can be mindful of when avoiding forever chemicals:

2024-06-13T20:07:11Z dg43tfdfdgfd