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AFP in blood, tap water, household products and cats

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Are the PFAS in my house responsible for the PFAS in my blood? Experts I spoke to almost certainly say, but this is where the picture gets particularly blurry.

The Vista Analytical Laboratory in California checked 24 compounds in my blood and Ling Ling’s blood. In both of us, he detected high levels of PFOA. The compound was commonly used to produce PTFE which was applied to a wide range of consumer products including the pan I used to fry fish, bicycle lubricant, plumber’s tape, and dental floss.

At Ling Ling and I the test found PFOS and PFHxS, which are constituents of fire fighting foam, and the first was in Scotchgard until 2003. My blood also contains PFNA, which is used in fire fighting foam. production of non-stick and stain resistant coatings.

A tool developed by Carignan, Silent Spring and Northeastern University shows how my levels and those of Ling Ling compare to those of adult humans living in the United States

While some of the chemicals are probably present in products in my house, the Galbraith test tells us how much fluoride is in items, but does not identify individual PFAS compounds.

Experts I’ve spoken to say it’s also possible that the chemicals are in our food, especially fish, which Ling Ling and I eat on a regular basis. PFAS are also found in livestock and crops via pesticides, contaminated sewage sludge used as fertilizer, and contaminated water used on farms.

In the United States, the industry is replacing older, longer compounds with a new generation of PFAS that they claim are safer, although this claim is being contradicted by a growing body of research. The newer chemicals are probably in the products recently made in my house. The tests didn’t find these chemicals in my blood, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t in Ling Ling and me.

Ng says commercial labs don’t have the capacity or analytical standards to check our blood for more than about 40 PFAS compounds, but there are thousands. My blood has not been tested for most alternative chemicals. Many new compounds may also have escaped detection by accumulating in our organs but not in our blood, says Ng.

And once they’re in my body, the new compounds can be converted into compounds that have been detected in my blood, Schaider says. This presents yet another possible explanation for my results.

This stranger adds extra layers of anxiety and leaves me wondering if I should go to my doctor for cancer screening or a liver exam. The chemicals may be the cause of my high cholesterol, although the cookies and milkshakes that are part of my weekly diet may be the cause.

Trying to identify the sources of the chemicals is a bit maddening and stressful. It’s just not clear how much each element’s PFAS contributes to the levels in our blood, so I can’t rule out the source, and that uncertainty is part of “the injustice of these chemicals,” Ng says.

“You worry because these are in your blood, and they may have been in your blood for a long time, so it is difficult to know if a health problem that is developing is caused by exposure to PFAS, but it does will remain in mind. , “she said.” It’s fundamentally unfair that we have to handle this for the convenience of not having eggs stuck to the pan. “

Most of the companies I contacted for comment did not respond. Procter & Gamble, which uses PTFE in its Oral-B Glide dental floss, said Oral-B tested negative for the presence of PFAS and claimed that PTFE is not a PFAS. Chemical companies have recently started making this claim and claim that it is safer because it does not necessarily accumulate in the body the same way as other compounds of this type.

But the experts who have spoken to me say that there is not enough independent science to determine if PTFE is safe. PTFE is also generally considered a PFAS compound, and the Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as such (PDF). Additionally, Ng says other PFAS compounds are used in the production of PTFE, which she says is a concern.

Procter & Gamble also said in the statement that it had tested its dental floss using a modified version of EPA Method 537. This test, however, does not check for PTFE, nor most of the 4,700 PFAS compounds. On the other hand, our tests looked for the total level of fluorine, which is the element common to all PFAS, and gives laboratories a clearer idea of ​​the amount of PFAS that can be contained in a product. Our test showed that fluoride makes up 17% of Oral-B Glide dental floss.

Worried, Peaslee told me he switched to waxed dental floss.