Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

What Experts Know on PFAS; Qld Health Information on the Facts

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

What Experts Know on PFAS; Qld Health Information on the Facts

Article excerpt

FOLLOWING the Svennson Heights water contamination situation, Queensland Health released the facts about what is known about PFAS.

Here is what they said.

What are per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances?

Per- and poly- fluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, are a large group of manufactured chemicals.

PFAS are also known as perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs). This group of chemicals includes perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and the related chemicals perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).

PFAS have been used since the 1950s in a range of common household products and in some specialty applications. These include in the manufacture of non-stick cookware; fabric, furniture and carpet stain protection applications; food packaging; some industrial processes; and in some types of fire-fighting foam.

Why are these chemicals being phased out?

The manufacture and use of some PFAS are being discontinued or limited through international agreements and voluntary actions by manufacturers primarily because of their persistence in the environment, rather than because of any established health effects.

PFAS break down very slowly in the environment. Because of this, they tend to accumulate in the food chain and in human tissue. The international scientific community has identified this characteristic as undesirable because of the potential for unforeseen effects resulting from accumulating levels, and the difficulty in removing these chemicals from the environment once they are released.

How are people

exposed to PFAS?

PFAS are found at very low levels in the blood of the general population all over the world. The general public are exposed to small amounts of PFAS in everyday life through exposure to dust, indoor and outdoor air, food, water and contact with products that contain these chemicals.

For most people, food is thought to be the major source of exposure. Treated carpets and floors treated with waxes and sealants that contain PFAS can be an important source of exposure for babies and infants. …

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