Substitute chemicals for cancer-linked PFCs may also be harmful, researchers warn


A pair of long-lasting, man-made chemicals called PFOA and PFOS have generated controversy and lawsuits in recent years, worldwide and in Alabama, but a new peer-reviewed paper warns there are more than 3,000 replacement chemicals with similar chemical makeup used to make consumer products whose toxicology and potential health impacts are unknown.

PFOA and PFOS are similar perfluorinated chemicals that were used to manufacture consumer products like non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, stain resistant coatings for fabric, and fire-fighting foams. The 3M plant in Decatur was a major producer of those chemicals until 2002.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a health advisory issued last year said that while nearly all people on earth who have been tested showed some level of the chemicals in their blood, long-term exposure to the chemicals has been linked to a number of illnesses, including some cancers.

Dennis Pillion

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