PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are human-made substances from chemicals that can negatively affect human health (1). They are resistant to heat, water, and oil, so they do not break down naturally. They have the nickname “forever chemicals” because they can stick around for decades. PFAS may be in several products, such as (2,3): Umbrellas, Carpets, Firefighting foam, Tents, Food packaging, Fish from contaminated water sources, Public water systems near industrial areas
Due to constant exposure, PFAS can also accumulate in humans. People can ingest the substances from food or water, which are then absorbed. They have also been detected in blood and at lower concentrations in breast milk and urine (3).
Another chemical commonly used in manufacturing is bisphenol A (BPA). It exists in plastic and industrial glues, including containers that store food and drink (e.g., water bottles), water supply lines, and some dental sealants (4). Due to its use in food packaging, humans can be exposed to the chemical. Researchers have found that BPA can seep into food or drink from containers made with BPA (5). Over 90 percent of people in the United States have some measurable BPA level in their urine (6).
Risks of Ingesting These Chemicals
PFAS and BPA can have adverse effects on human health. These chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors due to their impact on hormone balance in humans. BPA has a similar structure to a form of estradiol, a form of estrogen. When it binds to cells with estrogen receptors, it can signal cells to grow and divide rapidly, leading to cancer development (7). In men exposed to high levels of PFAS, there is a decrease in semen quality, penile length, and testicular volume (8).
BPA may also be harmful to the brain and prostate glands in fetuses, babies, and children. Because it is an endocrine disruptor, BPA can affect neurological development and impair its growth. Exposure to fetuses, infants, and children may occur through their mother’s breast milk, toys, food, and drink (4,6).
The possibility of mitigating Exposure to These Harmful Chemicals
While it is impossible to avoid exposure to PFAS and BPA in everyday life, there are ways where populations may limit these poisons.
These may include (4,9,10) discontinuing the use of plastic containers in the microwave or dishwasher because heat can break compounds down over time, which may allow BPA to spread into food or drink. An increase in usage of glass, stainless steel, or porcelain alternatives that do not contain PFAS or BPA. Enhancing community awareness of the importance of BPA-free products and informing about the risks around the consumption of canned foods. Education regarding produce treated with pesticides and herbicides (these have plastic residues) will also be very useful. Dry sauna bathing – induces sweating, which can help the body excrete BPA, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals may become increasingly used as more individuals work to drive these chemicals out.
Novis Health has developed programs that may successfully reduce the toxic burden in humans. Novis Health believes everyone should have access to adequate tools that minimize the damage caused by the constant bombardment of forever chemicals to the body. From infertility to cancers and many other chronic ailments, addressing major known risk factors today may prevent tragedies tomorrow.
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1. the United States Environmental Protection Agency. PFOA, PFOS, and Other PFASs. January 14, 2021. Accessed April 3, 2021.
2. Hersher R. Scientists Dig Into Hard Questions About the Fluorinated Pollutants Known as PFAS. National Public Radio. April 22, 2019. Accessed April 3, 2021.
3. Rhode Island Department of Health. PFAS Contamination of Water. n.d. Accessed April 3, 2021.
4. Mayo Clinic. What is BPA, and what are the concerns about BPA? December 18, 2019. Accessed April 3, 2021.
5. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Bisphenol A (BPA). March 5, 2020. Accessed April 2021.
6. Braun JM, Hauser R. Bisphenol A, and Children’s Health. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2011;23(2):233-239.
7. Gao H, Yang B, Li N, Feng L, Shi X, et al. Bisphenol A, and Hormone-Associated Cancers: Current Progress and Perspectives. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015;94(1):e211.
8. Di Nisio A, Sabovic I, Valente U, Tescari S, Rocca MS, et al. Endocrine Disruption of Androgenic Activity by Perfluoroalkyl Substances: Clinical and Experimental Evidence. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019;104(4):1259-1271.
9. Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:1857413.
10. Edwards M. Detox from Plastics and Other Endocrine Disruptors. Organic Lifestyle. July 2, 2019. Accessed April 3, 2021.
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