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PFC contamination in Maine residents, and ways to reduce exposures

This short report documents the concentrations of toxic PFCs in Maine residents.  The report explains where PFCs are often found:

“Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are synthetic chemicals designed to repel grease and water. Used since the 1950s in a wide range of consumer products, PFCs have been used more recently as stain- resistant coatings such as Scotchgard and Stainmaster for carpets, couches, and other upholstered furniture and automobile seats; to make water-repellent fabrics like Gore-Tex, and now in popular clothing lines like Gap Kids, Dockers, and Levis. They are also used to make Teflon coatings for non-stick cookware and grease-resistant food packaging and paper products (food wrap, microwave popcorn bags, French fry boxes, candy wrappers, etc.). Personal care products including makeup, moisturizers, and dental floss may also contain PFCs”

The authors recommend these precautions:

“To reduce personal exposure, which has not been well studied, avoid purchasing or at least minimize use of products containing PFCs. Consider these tips:

Reduce greasy packaged foods and fast foods in your diet. The packaging for food like microwave popcorn, French fries, and pizza are often treated with grease-resistant coatings.

Avoid stain-resistant furniture and carpets. Decline optional treatments and ask for products that have not been pretreated.

Avoid Teflon or non-stick cookware. If you choose to use non-stick cookware, do not overheat or burn pans, as chemicals can be released when they reach 450F, and discard pans when they get scratched. The fumes from overheated Teflon are deadly to pet birds.

Choose alternatives to clothing with Teflon labels or treated for water or stain-resistance. Many of the treated outerwear and gear are coated with PFCs.

Look out for personal care products. PFCs are added to some cosmetics (nail polish, moisturizers, and eye makeup), shaving cream, and dental floss. Avoid those that have ingredients that include the words “fluoro” or “perfluoro.” ”