PFAS--About Time

Finally, some of these toxic and bioprevalent chemicals are getting the EPA Superfund treatment.


paywall . . .

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Much appreciated!

@HappyOnion - WaPo is one of the few places left where defeating the paywall can often be accomplished by clicking refresh-stop rapidly (i.e. as soon as the page begins to load) a few times.

Too late probz. But nice of them to at least try.

You didn’t hear it from me, but that works with NYT recipes, too.

It used to work with all of them, but now (my more recent experience, anyway) is that somewhat older ones will still load with that trick, but newer ones don’t load all the content at once (the way ATK, Cooks Country, WSJ and others do it) so you can’t get past it with that trick.

It has never failed me, but there’s always a first time.

Oh, it’s too late from the standpoint of the damage already being done, but at least it may help with mitigation.

Big Chem is too adroit in staying steps ahead of EPA.


But it would require the rest of the world to go along with this (although I’m sure the EU already has stricter regulations in place than the US) to have any meaningful impact.

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From the article:

  • which have become remarkably pervasive. Nearly every American has measurable amounts of PFAS in his or her blood

Ayep. Even decades ago. I may have told this anecdote before (TLDR bunny chow contaminated). As an engineer I worked for a company that used a fair amount of perfluorinated fabric treatments (for water and alcohol repellency) and when we were running the sprayers your eyes would sting even if you were at the far end of the plant over 1000 feet away.

The 2 suppliers had different polymerization processes, but both were based on PFOA. One’s process was messier, making a lot of different chain lengths and then concentrating the desired 8-carbon length chemicals. That one had to switch to the less messy (but more expensive) process under EPA pressure. (ETA - although of course their public announcements about it were all daisies and rainbows, “doing it fer dah children”, etc. rather than admit the EPA was standing behind their CEO with a 9 million pound hammer.)

They had been trying to prove garments didn’t leach PFOAs to wearers so they shaved a bunch of rabbits and wrapped them in treated and untreated garments, waited a few weeks, then drew blood.

The control rabbits had essentially the same levels as the test rabbits. Turns out several of the ingredients in the bunny chow were contaminated, too.


people go all bonkers about Teflon pans gonna’ kill them . . . it’s the PFOA that’s the “problem” - used in the manufacture.

studies in UK, Sweden, France and USA found no residual PFOA in “hard goods” - France found PFOA at the one part per trillion . . . which they attributed to “noise” in the equipment…

meanwhile , , , back at the ranch . . .
Federal law requires all child sleepwear to be flame retardant.
Teflon type products were - not sure if still - the most commonly used to achieve ‘flame retardant’ status - and guess what . . . “soft goods” - fabrics, stain resistant, flame retardant . . . are loaded with high concentrations of residual PFOA.

please note: this information is from my own personal research into studies/data public available / published about 9 years ago. the situations may have changed.

Not really. Progress can be measured on scales down to individual aquifers and watersheds. But it would be wonderful if all nations did these things

Here’s a sobering take on plastics recycling: