Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Household Staple

Guy with a beard feeling unwell with a stomach ache while sitting in a couch at home

( – For years, board-certified toxicologist Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S. has warned people about the dangers associated with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Known as “forever chemicals” for their persistent qualities, they are used in various industrial applications and consumer products like stain-resistant carpets and non-stick cookware. A recent report indicates that those cancer-causing chemicals have now been found in a common household item.

On April 2, the eco-wellness community website Mamavation published the results of a recent study into the presence of PFAS in band-aids or bandages. Birnbaum and Terrence Collins, Ph.D., the head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Green Sciences, conducted the research project. Sondra Strand, P.H.N., B.S.N., R.N. medically reviewed the study’s findings.

Birnbaum and Collins submitted 40 bandage samples to a laboratory for testing. The Environmental Protection Agency-certified facility found detectable levels of organic fluorine. The discovery of that chemical compound in the bandages indicated the presence of PFAS. Additionally, the test found traces of PFAS in roughly 63% of the samples sold with brown and black tones.

Birnbaum spoke with Environmental Health Sciences, a partner in the research project, about the study’s results. She said it was “troubling to learn” that children and adults might be exposed to PFAS since injury victims and medical professionals place bandages directly over “open wounds.”

Birnbaum urged manufacturers to “protect the public” and use PFAS-free materials in the future since it is “obvious” the chemical compound doesn’t provide any known benefits for “wound care.”

The latest information published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) discussed the impact of PFAS on individuals’ health. They can reduce the ability of the human body’s immune system to fight infection effectively. Additionally, they increase the risk of developing certain kinds of cancer, contribute to childhood obesity, and alter individuals’ body weight regulation and metabolism.

The NIEHS warned that research groups have determined that PFAS exposure can “delay the onset of puberty” in females and long-term exposure can “decrease… bone mineral density.” That condition can eventually lead to osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Likewise, a recent study discovered a link between PFAS exposure and the increased risk of Type II diabetes in women.

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