Researchers Begin To Dig Into Health Risks Of A Common Group Of Chemicals Found In Environment, Humans
Consumers have gotten used to the benefits of PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that make clothing water resistant and cooking ware easier to clean, but scientists say it will take years to discover their risks. Other news on the environment looks at how to protect yourself from air pollution when traveling.
Scientists Dig Into Hard Questions About The Fluorinated Pollutants Known As PFAS
Scientists are ramping up research on the possible health effects of a large group of common but little-understood chemicals used in water-resistant clothing, stain-resistant furniture, nonstick cookware and many other consumer products. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are generally referred to by their plural acronym, PFAS. PFAS are resistant to water, oil and heat, and their use has expanded rapidly since they were developed by companies in the mid-20th century. Today, PFAS' nonstick qualities make them useful in products as diverse as food wrappers, umbrellas, tents, carpets and firefighting foam. The chemicals are also used in the manufacture of plastic and rubber and in insulation for wiring. (Hersher, 4/22)
The New York Times:
How To Protect Yourself From Air Pollution While Traveling
When Yondje Choi was told she would need a face mask for an upcoming trip to South Korea, Ms. Choi, a 31-year-old New Yorker, was shocked. “I knew air pollution is a major problem in Beijing, but I didn’t know it was this bad here,” she said last month in Seoul. While China takes a bulk of the heat when it comes to unhealthy levels of air quality, air pollution is a major issue throughout Asia and beyond, even to Europe and North America. Without research and self-care, even short-term visitors may feel the effects. Here are some precautions you can take to help you breathe easier. (Yoon, 4/21)