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Why hasn't the American public been informed about the dangers of PFAS?

By - Miori
05/17/2022 4:35 PM

A movie came out in 2019 to do just that; inform the public. It’s hard to watch. 

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Dark Waters sheds light on pfas contamination in water. It's the Erin Brockovich story of this generation.

Part of the reason you don’t hear about it is that PFAS is a group of thousands of chemicals of which only two (so far) have been classified as hazardous: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). 

Two more are lined up to be classified as hazardous by the EPA: perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), and GenX.

The Dark Waters movie brings awareness to the growing concerns around PFAS chemicals ever present in our environment. It's important to remember that not all PFAS constituents are harmful to human health even though many are suspected to be. Discussing the entire group of thousands of PFAS chemicals as dangerous is a bit misleading, so nuances like this may be why journalists are holding back. PFAS news is changing daily, and they may want to wait and see how things shake out. Regulatory agencies are still in the process of formalizing data, analyses, and regulations.

The other reason is that it’s a topic that's so complicated, with discussions on long-chain and short-chain structures behaving differently in the environment, that people (even journalists) tend to throw up their hands saying, “I just don’t understand organic chemistry.” It's understandable, but there's something we can do about it.

If you’d like to keep yourself and your peers informed, and even start to understand PFAS chemistry a little bit better, join my newsletter at the bottom of the homepage.

Erin Brockovich herself also went after this issue to inform the public: ‘The Devil We Know’ Featuring Erin Brockovich Examines the Dangers of Teflon - Erin Brockovich

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