Makers of PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ Covered up the Dangers

June 5, 2023

Read the full article by Susan Lamontagne (UCSF) 

"The chemical industry took a page out of the tobacco playbook when they discovered and suppressed their knowledge of health harms caused by exposure to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), according to an analysis of previously secret industry documents by UC San Francisco researchers.

A new paper published May 31, 2023, in Annals of Global Health, examines documents from DuPont and 3M, the largest manufacturers of PFAS, and analyzes the tactics industry used to delay public awareness of PFAS toxicity and, in turn, delay regulations governing their use. PFAS are widely used chemicals in clothing, household goods, and food products, and are highly resistant to breaking down, giving them the name “forever chemicals.” They are now ubiquitous in people and the environment.

“These documents reveal clear evidence that the chemical industry knew about the dangers of PFAS and failed to let the public, regulators, and even their own employees know the risks,” said Tracey J. Woodruff, PhD, professor and director of the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE), a former senior scientist and policy advisor at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and senior author of the paper."