EPA takes a stand: Toxic PFAS-leaching plastic production must stop

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epa-halts-pfas(Naturalhealth365)  Even though plastics revolutionize almost every aspect of our lives by providing a cheap and stable material for a variety of goods, PFAS – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are a type of chemical associated with plastic production that has been known to cause a myriad of health problems.  Thankfully, many Western nations have cracked down on the proliferation of PFAS in products sold to the general population.

Unfortunately, one company in particular – Inhance Technologies (which claims to be “the science of better”) – has been using a specific fluorination technique resulting in PFAS, even though the substances were largely banned in 2015.  However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finally cracking down on Inhance Tech and halting this practice, which will benefit Americans in multiple ways.

The unintended consequences of PFAS in plastic production

PFAS, commonly known as “forever chemicals,” have long been generated as byproducts of plastic production, with an alarming prevalence found in over 80% of American waterways and detected in nearly 97% of blood samples collected from individuals across various socio-demographic and age groups.

These substances are a direct outcome of the fluorination process intended to enhance the stability and durability of plastics, making them ideal for containers but, unfortunately, posing significant environmental and health risks.  The enduring stability of PFAS contributes to the strength of plastics and renders them nearly indestructible within the human body, earning them the nickname “forever chemicals.”

Endocrine disruption by PFAS: Lingering risks, cancer links, and mental health implications

PFAS and other persistent “forever chemicals” exhibit extensive endocrine-disrupting effects throughout the body, not only heightening the risk of various cancers but also influencing crucial hormones regulating sleep, weight management (such as insulin), cortisol, stress-related hormones, and more.

Despite the commendable phase-out of certain chemicals, like PFAS, their lingering presence in everyday products poses ongoing concerns, contributing to mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, and persistent stress-related issues.

EPA rules against Inhance Technologies

Inhance Technologies not only violated the stop order on PFAS but also marketed a diverse range of products, spanning skincare, beauty items, and condiments like ketchup or mayonnaise.  Their plastic containers posed risks to consumers through ingestion, topical absorption, and even during transportation – EPA investigations revealed significant PFAS leaching from Inhance shipping containers in the brief period from manufacturing to bottling.

This landmark ruling against PFAS is groundbreaking, underscoring the EPA’s proactive stance in pursuing individual companies for regulatory violations.

Reduce your exposure to forever chemicals

Inhance is regrettably not alone in the utilization of forever chemicals, extending beyond PFAS.  The harm inflicted by these substances can manifest in seemingly mundane ways, such as weight gain or, in more severe cases, life-threatening conditions like cancer.  However, the consensus is clear: global recognition calls for a complete phase-out of these chemicals across all mediums.

In safeguarding yourself from the detrimental effects of PFAS, there are proactive steps you can take in your daily life.  Despite their omnipresence in many foods, waterways, and likely your body at this moment, you have the power to reduce your exposure, potentially mitigating the long-term damage to yourself and your family.

One possible avenue for reducing exposure to PFAS is utilizing filtered water rather than tap water.

Whenever possible, buy products in glass bottles or metal containers.  If you absolutely cannot, consider investigating whether the companies you buy from use PFAS-free material.

Unfortunately, for PFAS-contaminated food, not even going organic can ensure that you will avoid these chemicals.  One way that PFAS enter the food system is through pesticide runoff.  So, if you are buying organic, try buying local.  If you know the organic farmer that sells you, your produce, or your meat, you can typically visit their farm and see whether or not they are around other places that might be using herbicides or pesticides.  In general, buying locally produced food is one of the best ways to avoid the various chemicals that pervade modern food production and harm us across our entire lifespan.

The first step in solving the PFAS crisis was acknowledging it, and that has been done.  Although we are hopeful that the EPA will phase out these toxic chemicals entirely, only time will tell what the future holds for coming generations.

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