HomeEconomyHold the anti-fog spray: Duke researchers find Forever chemical in commonly used...

Hold the anti-fog spray: Duke researchers find Forever chemical in commonly used eyewear products

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, a former securities attorney and derivatives trader.She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

For people of a certain age, “toxic chemicals” evoke oozing black dumps that poison local communities, while regulators are hesitant to remediate and clean up, let alone prevent. Think Love Canal.

Today’s “Forever Chemicals” — Every- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)– Long-lasting man-made chemicals used in many consumer products – ubiquitous and close to home. On their faces, it doesn’t look terrible.

Few would be surprised to hear that the Trump administration has a poor track record in regulating permanent chemicals. Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it will develop national drinking water standards by March 2023. Philippe Granjean, an associate professor of environmental health at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health, applauded the programs. Press Release from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health:

I am excited.Any support we can give the EPA is good because we are so far behind in restricting the use of these dangerous goods Chemicals. PFAS are used in many products such as waterproof clothing, non-stick cookware, firefighting foam, cosmetics, food packaging, cleaning supplies, and electronics. We know that almost all Americans have some PFAS in their blood, which we call “permanent chemicals” because they don’t break down in the body.Our 20 years of in-depth research has shown that PFAS are associated with serious health problems, such as kidneys and testicles cancer, weakened immune system, endocrine disorders, fertility problems and decreased birth weight.

A new EPA drinking water standard alone falls short of the comprehensive regulatory approach needed to address the health threats posed by permanent chemicals. As in many other areas, EU policy is far ahead of the US (although there is no doubt that EU policy is superior to US, I’m putting aside for now whether EU policy itself is enough.)

According to Grandjean:

The European Union (EU) leads the US in regulating PFAS. In September 2020, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established a new security threshold For the four most common PFASs. The EPA’s limit applies to only two PFASs — PFOS and PFOA — more than 30 times higher than the European limit, and only applies to drinking water. This shows how far the US is lagging behind.

In setting limits, EFSA takes into account the toxicity of PFAS to the immune system, manifested by reduced antibody responses in childhood vaccine– Our first thought Reported in JAMA in 2012. EFSA exposure limits are designed to ensure that women of reproductive age do not accumulate an excessive burden of PFAS. In my opinion, this strategy makes sense because PFAS compounds tend to cross the placenta during pregnancy, so the mother will share the burden of the accumulation of these compounds with the next generation.Furthermore, our 2015 Research It was found that when mothers breastfeed – which is highly recommended by the CDC and WHO – these compounds are excreted in human milk. Babies may have PFAS blood levels 10 times higher than their mothers. This occurs at the most vulnerable stage of life, when various organs and biochemical functions are being fine-tuned. If something goes wrong at this stage, it can stay with us for the rest of our lives and affect our risk of disease later in life.

For example, in a learn We recently published that we found that even at the age of 9 children, their cumulative PFAS exposure correlates with elevated cholesterol, a result thought to affect only adults. People with high cholesterol in children or young adults may also have high cholesterol later in life.

Grandjean was asked to outline the approach the government should take in regulating permanent chemicals. His response:

I am willing to accept that some PFAS compounds may reduce human health risks. But I’d like to see proof of their safety before they’re allowed in a product, not 10 to 15 years later to find out that these compounds don’t break down in the body, they build up and women pass them on through the placenta or breastfeeding. to the child.

We should no longer do this experiment on humans.Industry has Hiding the dangers of PFAS from us decades. They have known about the toxicity of PFAS since the 1970s, but did not share the information with the EPA until 2000. We should not allow similar secrets to happen again.

Anti-fog spray

Well, the smart approach to managing permanent chemicals outlined by Grandjean is unlikely to be implemented anytime soon. Meanwhile, researchers at Duke University released a study this week showing that many eyeglass wearers may be inadvertently and unnecessarily exposing themselves directly to chemicals through the use of anti-fog sprays. Use of these agents has skyrocketed during the pandemic as they reduce the vaping that sometimes accompanies wearing masks.according to protector:

Anti-fog sprays and cloths that are often used to prevent condensation on glasses on face masks or face shields may contain high levels of potentially toxic PFAS”forever chemicals, according to a new study led by Duke University.

The researchers tested four of the top anti-fog sprays and five of the top anti-fog cloths sold on Amazon. In all nine products, experts found fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOH) and fluorotelomer ethoxylates (FTEO), two types of perfluoro and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

“Our tests showed that the spray contained up to 20.7 milligrams of PFAS per milliliter of solution, which is a fairly high concentration,” said study leader Nicholas Hecht, a postdoctoral researcher at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Echoing Grandjean, Herkert noted that the two permanent chemicals used in anti-fog sprays—FTOH and FTEO—have not been extensively studied, so the health risks they pose are unknown. Nonetheless, the Guardian reports:

[R]Current research suggests that FTOH inhaled or absorbed through the skin may break down in the body and become toxic, long-lasting PFA.

The new study also analyzed FTEO used in all four anti-fog sprays and showed significant cellular changes in toxicity and conversion to fat cells in laboratory tests, Herkert said.

Alas, in addition to anti-fog sprays, the Guardian reports that, despite their widespread use in other common consumer products, there has been little research into the health threats posed by their use. I’m rather cynical about the flaws in US regulation that threaten human health and safety, but even I’m struck by how little research has been done on one of these chemicals:

“It’s troubling that the products people use every day to help keep themselves safe during the coronavirus pandemic may have exposes them to different risks.”

The study, conducted by Herkert and Stapleton with researchers from Duke University, Wayne State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is the second-ever focus on FTEOS. The researchers published their peer-reviewed study Jan. 5 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Herkert and Stapleton say more research is needed to expand on the initial findings, and the next step is larger studies involving tests on living organisms.Studies including larger sample sizes of sprays and cloths could also help identify other unknown chemicals used in these products

Now, I wear glasses, and as I get older, my prescriptions get more complicated. So I now use different lenses to correct vision at different distances instead of relying on a single progressive lens. Although I can’t read without the correct glasses, I can work fine without telephoto glasses. When I’m masked, I can skip the glasses, so fogging isn’t an issue.

But from my diving experience, I know how difficult it is to function when one’s diving mask fogs up. Divers employ various strategies to prevent this from happening, such as preparing a new mask and wiping the inside with toothpaste. Before going into the water, many people, myself included, put a thin layer of baby shampoo on the inside of a diving mask, or in the absence of this, saliva, aka saliva. I have found these home remedies to be effective in preventing fogging.

I wonder if other remedies can prevent glasses from fogging up without exposing users to the possible health risks of permanent chemicals.


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