Per- or poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of over 4,700 industrial chemicals used in everyday products.
Have you bought a Teflon frying pan? Is there PTFE in your bike oil? Have you seen ‘PFC-free’ labels on waterproofs? These are all terms used for PFAS. PFAS are a group of over 4700 industrial chemicals, widely used in everyday products from food packaging, toiletries and non-stick cookware to clothing and carpets.
Since PFAS first came into common use in the 1950s their number of uses (and the number of names for them) has sky rocketed, PFAS are often referred to as the ‘forever chemicals’ because of their extreme persistence in the environment. Some forms of PFAS can take over 1000 years to degrade. This persistence is why the actions we take today have such a huge effect on the state of our world tomorrow. A paper bag might disintegrate and slowly disappear from sight, but the chemicals left behind could be damaging the environment for thousands for years.
To find out more about PFAS chemicals visit https://www.pfasfree.org.uk/
You can help to identify sources of PFAS in food packaging, visit https://www.pfasfree.org.uk/beadtest to find out how.