The air that people breathe at home and work can be contaminated with harmful chemicals that cause cancer. This is reported by the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters with reference to data from a group of researchers from the University of Rhode Island in the USA.
During the research, scientists analyzed the air in several rooms of a kindergarten, one house, a pantry of a clothing store, two carpet stores, two laboratories, five offices, one classroom, one storage room, and an elevator.
Harmful chemicals – PFAS – were found in almost all the surveyed places. The highest concentrations were recorded in carpet stores.
PFAS (per – and polyfluoroalkyl compounds) are organic compounds in which hydrogen is replaced by fluorine. The bond of carbon with fluorine is very strong, which makes them practically indestructible.
PFAS has been used in various industries around the world since the middle of the last century. The compounds are popular in producing packaging materials, waterproof fabrics for clothing, dental floss, lipsticks, eye shadows, carpet cleaners. They cause a wide range of serious health problems, from cancer to infertility and problems with the immune system. All these substances are either extremely stable in the environment or break down into persistent toxic compounds.