This post is about per and polyfluoroalkl (PFAs) substances other common names are profluorinated (PFCs). These chemicals are used to make products resistant to oil, water, and heat. PFA’s were invented by 3M and DuPont in the 1930s. Today they are compounds known as PFOs, PFOA, PfNA, & PfHxs. Brand names include Teflon and Scotchgard. PFA’s are called “emerging contaminants” because they are still being studied. The carbon fluoride bonds and PFAs are so robust or strong that they don’t break down in the environment and last decades in the blood to exposed people which can cause many health deficits!
These effects are numerous but to name a few we see: pregnancy- induced hypertension/pre–eclamsia, liver damage, and increase in total LDL-cholesterol, thyroid disease, decreased response to vaccines, and decrease in birth weight. Manufacturers like 3M and DuPont have settled health claims for hundreds of millions of dollars. More than a dozen locales in Michigan and Wisconsin have tested positive for PFAs contamination. Well-known examples are Wolverine Worldwide Wastedumps in Rockford and Wurtsmiths Air Force Base area in Oscoda, Michigan and right here in Marinette, Wisconsin many sites are contaminated from the use of PFA-laden firefighting foam.
PFA levels have been found in raw Great Lake waters. PFA’s are unregulated and there are no federal drinking water standards. “Safe” exposure levels are widely debated with the current EPA drinking water advisory level set at 70 parts per trillion (PPT). A new CDC report says that level may be 7 to 10 times higher. This is what I will be spending most of my time and energy researching… Stay tuned