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The everlasting problem of ‘forever chemicals’

The presence of nonstick chemical compounds in food has been a serious issue for years now. National lawmakers, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state governments have all joined the controversial debate to regulate the number of compounds in our food.

But past reports over the years claimed that these substances, though alarming, would not do much harm to the human body. New reports state otherwise.

High levels of chemical compounds found in several food products

According to The Seattle Times, the FDA conducted recent tests that found a distressing amount of these nonstick chemicals–commonly called PFAs–in:

  • Various packaged meats
  • Seafood products
  • Chocolate cake mixes
  • Some leafy vegetables

And the levels of the PFAs found in the chocolate cakes were reportedly 250 times over the limit listed in federal guidelines. 

PFAs are nearly everywhere

PFAs are common in several products and environments, including:

  • Cleaning products, polishes and waxes
  • Industrial workplaces and factories
  • Some water sources and treatment plants

It seems shocking that these kinds of chemicals found in these products could also be in our food, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that is common as well. What is concerning is the incredibly high levels of them in our food.

Are these chemicals harming us?

Studies in the past have claimed that PFAs do not cause significant health issues, but newer reports state that high levels of these chemicals could be associated with several concerning health issues, including:

  • Many kinds of cancers
  • Liver issues
  • Low birth weights

And one of the biggest concerns regarding these chemicals is their tendency to build up and stay in the body for a long time. That is why they are called “forever chemicals.” It can take decades for them to degrade in the body and the environment.

Is there a solution? 

For now, federal agencies and lawmakers are calling for more research and proof that the chemicals contribute to these serious health problems. 

Experts say it is unlikely that eating these products will cause significant harm since each individual product carries such a low dose of the chemicals. They do believe, however, that these chemicals could cause more problems in the long-term than it could in the present.

Depending on if future reports and research find a strong correlation between PFAs and severe health issues, individuals in Washington and around the nation would likely be able to pursue compensation for the negligent exposure to these dangerous chemicals.