Perfluorinated Compounds or PFCs (also sometimes called PFAS) are an emerging contaminant that many people aren’t aware of. People near chemical factories, airports, military bases are at greater risk of exposure. Today I’m going to give you an 8-step game plan for reducing PFCs in your home.
But first, let me say…
Happy World Environment Day!
Today, June 5, 2018, is World Environment Day, which seeks to influence change in four key areas one of which is reducing single-use plastics. World Environment Day asks that you vote with your dollar, and refuse single-use plastics all day today. (BTW, if you have kids *especially if you homeschool* you should check out this school toolkit for reducing plastic use)
Did you know that 50% of consumer plastics are designed to be single-use, providing a momentary convenience before being discarded? Eliminating single-use plastics, both from design chains to our consumer habits is a critical first step to beat plastic pollution.
Check out these key messages from World Environment Day:
- Plastic pollution is a defining environmental challenge for our time.
- In the next 10-15 years global plastic production is projected to nearly double.
- Avoiding the worst of these outcomes demands a complete rethinking of the way we produce, use and manage plastic.
- Individuals are increasingly exercising their power as consumers. People are turning down plastic straws and cutlery, cleaning beaches and coastlines, and reconsidering their purchase habits in supermarket aisles. If this happens enough, retailers will quickly get the message to ask their suppliers to do better.
- While these steps are a cause for celebration, the reality is that individual action alone cannot solve the problem. Even if every one of us does what we can to reduce our plastic footprint – and of course we must – we must also address the problem at its source.
- Consumers must not only be actors but drivers for the behaviour change that must also happen upstream.
- Ultimately, our plastic problem is one of design. Our manufacturing, distribution, consumption and trade systems for plastic – indeed our global economy – need to change.
- The linear model of planned obsolescence, in which items are designed to be thrown away immediately after use, sometimes after just seconds, must end.
- At the heart of this is extended producer responsibility, where manufacturers must be held to account for the entire life-cycle of their consumer products. At the same time, those companies actively embracing their social responsibility should be rewarded for moving to a more circular model of design and production, further incentivizing other companies to do the same.”
Did you avoid single-use plastic today? If you want to take things a step further, I highly recommend that you sign up for the #PlasticFreeJuly Challenge next month.
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Top 8 Ways to Reduce PFCs in Your Home
This is my list of 8 ways to reduce exposure to toxic PFCs in your own home. Before we get started, however, I want to mention how important it is to take any action that you see here. There are a lot of options, and I understand that not everyone has an unlimited budget. Taking some action is better than taking none at all!
8. Avoid Clothing and Textiles Labeled Stain Resistant, Wrinkle Resistant, or Waterproof
- Find natural alternatives to these “desirable” qualities. Some materials (such as untreated cotton, hemp, and felted wool) have some of these properties naturally
- Have realistic expectations. When you ditch these toxic chemicals, you are giving up wrinkle and stain resistance. Expect to iron more and have a stain removal plan (hint: handwashing with clear shampoo works on just about everything!)
7. Pop Popcorn on the Stovetop
- My husband is an expert popcorn maker, which is a guilt-free snack now that he pops it on the stovetop. While this method admittedly takes a few times to perfect – the end result is that your popcorn simply tastes better this way.
- We use this popcorn stovetop popper with this organic popcorn (sometimes topped with my favorite organic ghee.
6. Clean Up Your Beauty Routine
- Make as much of your own toothpaste, lotions, soaps, and cosmetics as you are comfortable.
- Use EWG’s cosmetic database to research beauty products, skincare, and cosmetics before you buy.
5. Avoid Disposable & Fast Food Food Packaging
- Fast food packaging, bread and pastry packaging, candy wrappers, and pizza boxes often contain PFCs. One of the most powerful ways that you can reducing your family’s exposure to the health damaging effects of PFCs is to prepare more foods at home.
- Reduce single-use plastics and while you’re at it, commit to giving them up entirely for the month of July!
- Use real plates instead of paper or styrofoam plates – This dish set by Corelle is a great option (Tamara Rubin tested it as negative for Lead (Pb), Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), and Mercury (Hg).
4. Consume Fish Conscientiously
- Unfortunately, fish are highly contaminated. Check out this article to learn more about how to consume sea food with chemical pollution in mind.
3. Shop Carefully for Flooring, Finishes, and Furnishings
- These items are especially likely to contain or be treated with PFCs (think stain-proof carpet and fire-resistant mattresses and sofas).
- If your furniture has already been treated, see if you can cover it with a natural-fiber cover.
2. Upgrade To Healthy Cookware
- My favorite type of cookware is ceramic enameled cast iron. It is important that enamel be free of lead, cadmium (common in brightly colored pieces), and heavy metals. I also glass for baking and storage.
1. Set Up Advanced Water Filtration Systems for Whole Home and Drinking Water
- If you want to test your water for contaminants, I suggest this DIY PFAS water lab test from Tap Score. See the bottom of this page for a 10% off coupon code off the PFOA/PFOS water test!
- Carbon filtration is what is recommended for reducing levels of PFCs in water.
Join My Free PFC Masterclass!
If this topic interests you, I’d love to have you join my free video masterclass! It includes…
4 Straightforward Video Modules + Downloads + Worksheets:
- Module 1 [What Are Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)?] I’ll explain exactly what perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are and the types of products you’ll find them in.
- Module 2 [Human Health Effects] We will discuss the human health implications of this class of chemicals.
- Module 3 [Regulations & Current Events] We will explore the current regulatory landscape and discuss current news, including the March 2018 announcement from the DoD.
- Module 4 [Holistic PFC Detox Plan] I will give you some strategies for protecting your family from this dangerous class of chemicals.
Want To Test Your Water for PFCs?
Get 10% OFF your DIY at-home PFC water testing kit with the coupon code