PFAS in your Pizza Box

PFAS are fuelling an ever-growing public health crisis as they continue to contaminate the environment and cause harm.

The group of 4,700 synthetic chemicals can be found in pizza boxes, dental floss and waterproof clothing. In use since the 1940s to make surfaces resistant to stains, water and grease, the ‘forever chemicals’ can now be found everywhere. ‘Everywhere’ includes the air, the drinking water of 110 million people, shellfish, vegetables and even the Arctic. Exposure to PFAS can be linked to many health problems including cancer, resistance to vaccines and high cholesterol, to name a few.

A worrying example of this can be seen in New Hampshire – the location of a Saint-Gobain plant for the production of chemically weatherproofed fabrics. Following a boost in production in 2002, subsequent research and reports have revealed the dangerously high concentration of PFAS in a 65-mile area around the plant. This data can be directly linked to serious consequences faced by residents nearby, many of which suffer from serious health problems such as rare and aggressive cancers, cardiovascular issues and autoimmune disorders – just a few of the many risks associated with PFAS exposure. This issue is prevalent across the globe, and with people becoming increasingly aware of the damage that these chemicals cause, many organisations have begun to fight for change.

Regulations have recently been put in place by the European Commission to limit PFAS levels in drinking water, and organisations are seeking an alternative chemical so that the use of PFAS can be gradually phased out. It is likely, and we should be hopeful that, restrictions on the use of PFAS will increase in all but essential manufacturing processes.

In response to this, the scientific community have begun researching the presence of PFAS and related human health concerns. Global Asset Index have taken this opportunity to use the database and investigate which instrument manufacturers have the necessary equipment for and can provide mass spectrometry solutions to meet the growing demands of PFAS investigation.

The pie chart indicates the most popular vendors of equipment for the analysis of PFAS. Using this information, we are able to see which instruments different companies are using and display their market share of equipment.

The chart was generated using the laboratory equipment database, which contains over 1million pieces of scientific equipment. A variety of search functions enable users to collate in-depth information that is adaptable to their needs. This intelligence, in particular, would be invaluable to instrument manufacturers and laboratories performing this method or looking to purchase similar equipment.

It’s also nice to see that something is being done to combat the growing problem of PFAS, so that we can drink water and eat our pizzas with peace of mind!