Polluting PFCs


PFCs also known per- or perfluorochemicals are a group of chemicals which can be dangerous to our health. They are often recognized for being used in non stick pans but they are also used in a variety of other products as well.They make products water-, grease-, and stain-resistant which is why they are used so often. However, this widespread use has lead to an almost universal finding of PFCs in people's blood stream as well as in the environment.

PFCs have been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, birth and developmental defects, and even immune suppression. Because they are so prevalent, it can be beneficial to reduce some areas of exposure that you can control, such as the clothes you buy or pans you use.

“They’re used in the coatings on carpets and clothing, in microwave popcorn bag and fast food wrappers. Most waterproof or stain repellent clothing....PFC coatings remain common in the marketplace.” (EWG’s Guide to Avoiding PFCs). In fact, they can even be found in the water because they can degrade over time and get into our water supply.

To avoid PFCs, avoid PTFE and nonstick kitchen supplies by replacing them with stainless steel or cast iron pans instead. Also look for products without PTFE and FLUORO ingredients and clothes without the words stain or water repellent. If you are worried about your water, detection has been made easy with EWGs tap water database which can help advise you to find safer water filters which are more fitted to the chemicals in your area. Making even one of these changes can have a great and easy impact on your future health.

By Sara Frawley

melanie gabrell