PFAS: The Forever Chemicals That Are Affecting Your Child's Health
PFAS, or Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are the "Forever Chemicals" found in many everyday products such as stain-resistant fabrics, non-stick cookware, and food packaging. These chemicals have become a major source of concern in terms of their effects on human health. In this blog post, we will be exploring the dangers of PFAS and what you can do to limit your exposure to these Forever Chemicals.
What are PFAS?
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals that are used in a wide variety of products, including stain-resistant fabrics, non-stick cookware, food packaging, and other everyday items. They are known as “Forever Chemicals” because of their ability to stay in the environment for long periods of time without breaking down.
How do PFAS enter the body?
PFAS can enter the body through a variety of pathways including ingestion of contaminated food and water, inhalation of contaminated dust particles, and contact with products containing PFAS. Additionally, PFAS chemicals have been known to pass through the placenta and accumulate in breast milk, meaning that infants and children are at an increased risk of exposure. Unfortunately, due to the long half-life of PFAS, once these chemicals enter the body they remain present for an extended period of time.
What are the health effects of PFAS exposure?
PFAS exposure is linked to a range of potential health effects including an increased risk of certain types of cancer, endocrine disruption, liver damage, and reproductive issues. These chemicals can accumulate in the body over time and may persist for many years. Studies have also suggested that exposure to PFAS can impair immunity, neurological development, and cause other metabolic problems.
How can you reduce your child's exposure to PFAS?
We know that PFAS can have serious implications for our health, so it's important to take steps to reduce our exposure. Some ways to reduce your exposure to PFAS include:
Avoid using non-stick cookware and stain-resistant fabrics. Choose alternatives made of stainless steel, ceramic, or cast iron instead.
Choose food packaging options that are not coated with PFAS. Examples include cardboard cartons, paper bags, and glass containers.
Eat organic foods whenever possible, as organic foods are not allowed to contain any PFAS.
Wash your hands frequently, especially after coming into contact with any products that may contain PFAS.
Talk to your Functional Medicine doctor about ways to help detox any existing PFAS in your system. They may recommend specific supplements or lifestyle changes to help support your body's natural detoxification process.
How can a Functional Medicine doctor, like Dr. Amber Brook help detox exposure form PFAS
Functional Medicine is an approach to healthcare that looks at the underlying causes of chronic health issues. It can be used to address the long-term effects of PFAS exposure, such as hormone disruption and immune system suppression. Functional Medicine practitioners can identify pathways of toxic buildup, as well as any potential nutrient deficiencies or lifestyle habits that could be contributing to the issue.
Functional Medicine focuses on individualized care and treatment plans, which allows for personalized detoxification protocols to be developed for each patient. These protocols may include dietary modifications, supplementation, exercise, detoxifying saunas, or other strategies designed to help reduce the body’s toxic burden from PFAS exposure. Additionally, Functional Medicine practitioners may use testing to assess the levels of PFAS in the body, as well as other biomarkers related to toxin exposure, in order to track progress over time.
Ultimately, a Functional Medicine doctor can provide guidance and support for those who have been exposed to PFAS and are looking for ways to reduce their toxic burden. Through customized detoxification protocols and ongoing monitoring, a Functional Medicine doctor can help individuals regain balance and optimal health.