Opinion: Lasting health impacts of PFAS will rival our past public-health failures
By Frank Carini | ecoRI News | July 11, 2020
Read the full article by Frank Carini (ecoRI News)
"Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a toxic alphabet soup of manufactured chemicals linked to cancer, will one day, perhaps soon, join the long list of profitable poisons that were allowed to sicken us and damage the environment long after their dangers were first discovered.
There is growing evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to bad health. The use of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), asbestos, and lead in paint and gasoline continued long after the risks to public health and wildlife were determined. Greed and special interests also protected the tobacco industry long after the dangers of its products and their secondhand smoke were documented by science.
The same societal sins seem to be at play protecting the chemical industry’s omnipresent PFAS. Opponents of the oversaturated use of PFAS claim manufacturers such as 3M and DuPont have spent decades studying and covering up evidence — the same strategy employed by the tobacco industry — of the negative human and environmental impacts of their chemicals. (In 2015, The Intercept published a three-part series by Sharon Lerner about DuPont’s “multi-decade cover-up of the severe harms” and the news organization has since continued to cover the dangers of PFAS in depth.)"