PFAS chemicals can be found in every aspect of our life from nonstick pans and cleaning products to firefighting foam. This group of chemicals has caused concern nationwide as it has been found in drinking water and has shown to have negative effects on our health. Starting in the 1980s, chemicals in the PFAS family, PFOS and PFOA, were linked to a number of health concerns, from cancer to hormonal disruption. (See our earlier blog for terms and definitions). These chemicals are extremely difficult to get rid of because they do not break down in the environment and they build up in the body.
Working for an environmental company and reading about PFAS in the news on a daily basis, I became extremely concerned. I started taking notice when my family and friends would heat food in plastic containers or make microwave popcorn. I would talk to them about the effects that this could have on their long-term health. It started keeping me up at night.
I asked myself, can we live a PFAS free life? I decided to try it with my family. First, I found and removed from our house all of our nonstick cookware. Though my family was very unhappy about this, especially when making omelets, I explained that we needed to start somewhere and nonstick pans were the place to begin. I’m happy to report that we are now a cast iron and stainless steel family. Not only do I enjoy cooking with both, but I get a great arm workout from the cast iron pans.
I also rid the pantry of any items that may contain unsafe chemicals in the packaging, like microwave popcorn bags and plastic containers. I bought all glass storage containers. One of our favorites are mason jars which are perfect for storing fruits and also for overnight oatmeal.
I don’t know about you but it makes me feel better that I’m doing something to help keep my family and friends safer.
Are you concerned with PFAS in your life? If so, I would love to hear what you do to rid yourself of this toxic chemical.