‘It’s disturbing’ that a product people use on a daily basis could pose a serious health risk.


‘It’s disturbing’ that a product people use on a daily basis could pose a serious health risk.

A COMMONLY USED PRODUCT that is supposed to protect people from the coronavirus could actually increase their risk of cancer and other health problems.

The pandemic of the Coronavirus has resulted in a surge in the use of anti-fog sprays to keep glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask.

Anti-fogging sprays and cloths could contain potentially harmful chemicals, according to Duke University researchers.

Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) have been linked to immune dysfunction, cancer, thyroid disease, and other conditions.

The two chemicals found in nine commonly used anti-fogging products are classified as PFAS, but their safety has yet to be determined.

Professor Heather Stapleton, of Duke’s Department of Environmental Chemistry and Health, spearheaded the research.

When she read the ingredient label on a bottle of anti-fogging spray she had bought for her nine-year-old daughter, she became concerned.

“Ironically, it was advertised as nontoxic and safe,” Stapleton said.

“Spray it on your glasses and rub it around with your fingers,” the instructions said.

“It’s troubling to think that products people have been using on a daily basis to help keep themselves safe during the COVID pandemic may now be exposing them to a different risk,” Stapleton continued.

“As a result of COVID, more people than ever before—including many medical professionals and other first responders—are using these sprays and cloths to keep their glasses from fogging up when wearing masks or face shields.”

“They have a right to know what is in the products they use.”

Only one of the nine products the researchers looked at (four sprays and five wipes) had a list of ingredients.

Fluorotelomer alcohols and fluorotelomer ethoxylates (FTOHs and FTEOs), which are understudied members of the larger PFAS family, were discovered by the researchers.

“Our tests show the sprays contain up to 20.7 milligrams of PFAS per millilitre of solution, which is a pretty high concentration,” said lead author Nicholas Herkert, a postdoctoral researcher at Duke.

According to Herkert, the health effects of these chemicals are unknown at this time, but can be inferred from the PFAS group as a whole.

“If we assume that FTOHs and FTEOs have similar toxicity to PFOA and PFOS, then one spray from these bottles would expose you to PFAS at levels several orders of magnitude higher than you’d get from drinking a litre of PFAS-contaminated water,” he explained.

“Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”


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