How to avoid PFAS in water and food with forever.jpgw1440

How to avoid PFAS in water and food with “forever” chemicals

The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that companies are voluntarily phasing out the use of “perpetual chemicals” in food packaging, including fast food packaging, microwave popcorn bags and takeout containers, that are resistant to grease, oil and water are.

The “major source of dietary PFAS exposure from food packaging … is being eliminated,” said Jim Jones, deputy commissioner of human foods, in a news release.

Companies told the FDA that it could take 18 months to “exhaust the market supply of these products from the last date of sale,” although it is unclear when that will be.

Forever Chemicals, or PFAS, are man-made compounds that may accumulate in the body over time and may take years to break down in nature. Certain PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, have been linked to a number of serious health effects, including some cancers, high blood pressure, endocrine disorders and changes in liver function.

The FDA's announcement “is a huge win for the public,” said Graham Peaslee, a physics professor at the University of Notre Dame who often tests for PFAS in everyday products.

“Nobody reads the packaging of their hamburger to see whether it contains PFAS or not,” Peaslee said Wednesday. “It will be a huge victory that we don’t have to worry about where it ends.”

Until food packaging that forever contains chemicals is completely gone from the market, here are steps you can take to minimize exposure from the food you eat, PFAS experts say.