On June 4, 2015 the New York Times published an op-ed by journalist Nicholas Kristof on poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In his article, Kristof explains that this class of chemicals is of concern because of its high persistence, both in people’s bodies and in the environment. Scientists that he interviewed about these compounds said they tried to avoid PFAS, but that it was difficult because often their presence in products like food packaging was unknown, or because safe replacements with equal functionality were lacking. Therefore, better chemical regulations were necessary to protect citizens from being exposed to harmful substances like PFAS. However, in Kristof’s view the U.S. government is listening to the needs of the chemical industry rather than focusing on more stringent laws that prevent chronic diseases. In addition, he suggests that more effort should be invested by chemical manufacturers into the development of safer products, rather than into defending the “right to produce suspected carcinogens”.
Kristof, N. (June 4, 2015) “Chemicals in your popcorn?” New York Times