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  • Edición impresa de Junio 18, 2019.

I should be writing about graduations and other pleasant things, or maybe about troublesome issues like the possible war in Iran, or how China and Russia are joining forces and that does not present a pretty picture for the USA.

There is also a lot of talk about water pollution and last of all how some species are affected by pollution and how their environments are turning some animals extinct.

Instead of all that I would like for us today to address how there is a very distinct specie that is being affected in many ways today. I am talking about human beings, not only those who inhabit the big polluted cities everywhere, but also those who live anywhere in the planet, because the so called PFAS are present in the food, the water and air throughout the planet.

It looks like the Environmental Defense Fund revealed the presence in foods of polyfluoroalkyl substances also called PFAS. According to the news, the FDA confirmed a string of 5,000 synthetic chemicals contaminating the food system in the United States. PFAS are synthetic chemicals created by DuPont in 1938, mostly used in non-stick cookware, but later they began to be used in many different industries in order to repel grease and water in packaged food. It is also used in firefighting foam used by the Defense Department.

The more than 5,000 element bonds are very difficult to breakdown both by the environment and by human beings. According to the news, “these chemicals can easily migrate into the air, dust, food, soil and water and they can accumulate in the body”

Liver damage, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, obesity, hormone suppression and cancer are some of the effects of PFAS

During the 29th annual European meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Helsinki, Finland, the confirmation of the FDA was made public that it had found PFAS levels more than 250 times higher than federal regulations in grocery store meat, fish and chocolate cake.

Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences said. “We have to look at total human exposure – not just what’s in the water or what’s in the food … or not just dust. We need to look at the sum totals of what the exposures are.” Therefore, we need to look at the accumulative effect in human beings, the earth, water, food and air.

These are some of the findings ordered by the FDA in October 2017 when it ordered testing of 91 samples of fruits, vegetables, meats, milk and baked goods purchased at grocery stores. The FDA also tested mixed samples of pineapple, sweet potato, chocolate cake, milk, and several kinds of meat and fish. The chocolate cake had the highest level of PFAS, probably from the packaging. Most meat, poultry and fish had high level of chemicals. And according to WebMed, no one knows how contamination there is in the milk and therefore all the dairy industry.

Should we be concerned about this? I think this shows how if we do not stop controlling what we eat, how it is packed and sold, we will be passing on the problem to the next generations. Above all, this is a matter that should be discussed with local and national representatives.

Companies like DuPont and Monsanto have managed to make a lot of money and like a chameleon they change names, but they continue to pollute our way of life. Find out more about PFAS and start watching what you eat and where it comes from. Maybe this is one more incentive to buy and consume local products where you can directly judge how they are affecting us.

 

 

 


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