A new study published in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants found that paper straws may contain harmful chemicals called PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals.”
The study tested 39 brands of straws made of paper, bamboo, plastic, and stainless steel. Of the straws tested, almost all contained some level of PFAS, and paper straws were the most likely to contain PFAS, with 90% of paper brands testing positive.
PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental defects. They are also known to be harmful to the environment.
The researchers who conducted the study believe that the PFAS in paper straws may come from the manufacturing process, as PFAS are often used to make paper water-resistant. They also suggest that the PFAS could be coming from the soil or from recycled materials.
The study’s findings raise concerns about the environmental and health impacts of paper straws. While paper straws are often seen as a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws, the presence of PFAS could make them just as harmful.
The study authors recommend that people use stainless steel straws instead of paper straws. Stainless steel straws are reusable and do not contain PFAS.
Here are some other things you can do to reduce your exposure to PFAS:
- Avoid using non-stick cookware and stain-resistant fabrics.
- Drink bottled water instead of tap water if you live in an area where PFAS have been detected in the water supply.
- Eat organic foods, as PFAS can be found in some conventionally grown foods.
- Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling products that may contain PFAS.
- Avoid using personal care products that contain PFAS, such as makeup, shampoo, and sunscreen.
What Types of Diseases and Injuries Can PFAS Cause?
PFAS, or polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used in a variety of products, including non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpets, and firefighting foam. They are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not break down easily in the environment and can accumulate in the human body.
PFAS have been linked to a number of health problems, including:
- Cancer: Some studies have found that exposure to PFAS can increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and liver cancer.
- Developmental defects: PFAS exposure during pregnancy has been linked to low birth weight, birth defects, and delayed development in children.
- Reproductive problems: PFAS exposure has been linked to decreased fertility, miscarriage, and premature birth.
- Immune system problems: PFAS can interfere with the body’s immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections.
- Thyroid problems: PFAS can disrupt the production of thyroid hormones, which can lead to a variety of health problems, including weight gain, fatigue, and depression.
- High cholesterol: PFAS can increase blood cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Liver damage: PFAS can damage the liver, which can lead to liver disease.
- Kidney disease: PFAS can damage the kidneys, which can lead to kidney disease.
- Other health problems: PFAS have also been linked to other health problems, such as ulcerative colitis, asthma, and hormone imbalances.
- The health effects of PFAS exposure can vary depending on the type of PFAS, the level of exposure, and the individual’s genetics. Some people may be more sensitive to the effects of PFAS than others.
If you are concerned about your exposure to PFAS, you should talk to your doctor. There is no specific test for PFAS exposure, but your doctor may be able to measure the levels of PFAS in your blood or urine. If you have been harmed by products containing PFAS, call our national law firm for your free case review. You could be entitled to substantial monetary compensation.
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