Last month we reported on the FDA study results showing that of the nearly 100 food types the FDA tested, the vast majority of raw food in the U.S. is free of PFAS chemical contamination. On August 26, 2021 however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had found PFAS “forever chemicals” in some processed foods, including several baby foods. The results showed that 164 of the 167 foods tested had no detectable levels of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) measured–which is surprising since we know that a number of commercially processed food manufacturers still use packaging that contains PFAS which can migrate or leach into the food.
Among the processed foods testing positive for PFAS contamination* fish sticks, tuna, and protein powder had three specific PFAS chemicals: perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) ranging from 33 parts per trillion, or ppt, to 140 ppt.
The FDA still has not set a limit of how much of any type of PFAS chemicals** can safely be consumed.
* The findings are consistent with previous studies revealing that certain PFAS chemicals are present in rainbow trout from contaminated waters, according to the FDA study that accompanies the agency’s announcement.
**PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are toxic to humans, animals and the environment. They are comprised of approximately 12,000 compounds. They are ubiquitous in the U.S., appearing in thousands of consumer and industrial products and are typically used to make products resist water, stains and heat, including household products (like carpeting, curtains, furniture upholstery, waterproof and stain-resistant flooring, etc.), cooking supplies (including cooking utensils and bake ware), clothing, personal care products (like cosmetics, including waterproof mascara) and even food (PFAS appears in processed food packaging for humans and pets) and public drinking water (tap water) that affects an estimated 2 million Americans. PFAS chemicals are usually found in products labeled “stain-proof” and “waterproof”. PFAS chemicals also appear in fire-fighting foam and other industrial products used at airports and military bases across the country, where the chemicals have leached into the groundwater. PFAS chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not readily break down in the environment or human body. PFAS chemicals have been linked in scientific and medical studies to a variety of serious health conditions including cancer (including testicular cancers), kidney disease, heart disease, thyroid problems, reproductive problems, endocrine problems (PFAS has been found to disrupt hormonal functions with some research suggesting that the PFAS chemicals are linked to accelerated ovarian aging, period irregularities and ovarian disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome) and liver problems. Some newer PFAS have been found to accumulate in organs, so in some cases, science simply cannot detect the toxic chemicals when testing for it in blood.
*To learn more about the adverse health consequences that scientific research studies have linked with PFAS chemicals, scroll down to the search box at the bottom of any of our blog articles and type in “PFAS”. Or for a quick overview of the PFAS problem, see our article here. You can also listen to the CFL podcast or radio program here: