Beware: Your Contact Lenses Could Contain Harmful Chemicals That Last Forever!
An EPA-approved lab has found evidence of PFAS’s “timeless chemicals” in 18 popular brands of contact lenses.
The results were published on the Mamavation blog, which bills itself as “a trusted resource for moms looking for non-toxic product recommendations.”
According to the site, all contact lenses tested contained traces of organic fluorine, which is a marker for PFAS, ranging from 105 to 20,700 ppm.
And the EPA only monitors PFAS levels when they enter drinking water. Federal agencies do not regulate or track the actual production of most perennial chemicals or study their health effects.
Pete Myers, chief scientist for environmental health, analyzed the results. While comparing safe levels of PFAS from drinking with absorbing contact lenses is inherently incomplete, “it should be noted that all contact lenses tested were in excess of 100 ppm, equivalent to 100,000,000 ppm, or 50,000 times higher than the most high level”. Environmental Protection Agency in drinking water.
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyls) are a group of widely used synthetic chemicals that are resistant to stains, water and oils. This also means that they do not decompose easily in nature.
It has been used regularly for more than half a century in non-stick cookware, waterproof cosmetics, waterproof clothing or stain-resistant fabrics, and has spread throughout the world through water, rain, soil, and animal sources.
As with microplastics, scientists are scrambling to determine the risks these chemicals may pose to our health.
Recent studies have linked some PFAS to cancer and immune system problems. The findings prompted the European Union to consider a complete ban on most PFASs.
Meanwhile, the US Environmental Protection Agency recently lowered the safety thresholds for some permanent chemicals in drinking water from 70 parts to 0.004-0.02 parts per thousand.
This is a huge adjustment that could mean that half of the US population is now thought to be exposed to harmful concentrations of persistent chemicals.
Terrence Collins, a chemist at Carnegie Mellon University, explains to Mamavation that fluorescent polymers like PFAS are cheap and effective materials that manufacturers can use in contact lenses. But he is frustrated by the lack of federal chemical disclosure and testing requirements.
“Today no one can tell you that contact with fluoropolymers is safe, because there is no jurisdiction that requires the development and study of appropriate safety tests,” says Collins. “I would advise you to strictly avoid such contact lenses.”
However, at the moment, it’s almost impossible to ask the average person to avoid PFAS, especially when there are so few alternatives. And you can stop using non-stick cookware and other products known to contain high levels of PFAS, especially on parts of the body that can absorb it. However, without transparent reporting from manufacturers, you are more likely to be exposed to perpetual chemicals against your will.
And in August 2022, some scientists warned that the world had crossed a critical safety threshold for synthetic chemicals, with potentially dangerous consequences. And if some of these chemicals are dangerous, they can be disastrous.
Source: Science Alert
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