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Business News/ Science / News/  Using bandages for wound care? Study finds cancer-causing forever chemicals in Band-Aids
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Using bandages for wound care? Study finds cancer-causing forever chemicals in Band-Aids

Bandages from popular brands like Band-Aid and CVS Health were found to contain dangerous levels of forever chemical 'organic fluorine' linked to negative health effects. Some bandages had detectable levels of organic fluorine, prompting calls for the removal of PFAS from wound care products.

Bandages from popular brands like Band-Aid and CVS Health were found to contain dangerous levels of forever chemical 'organic fluorine'. Premium
Bandages from popular brands like Band-Aid and CVS Health were found to contain dangerous levels of forever chemical 'organic fluorine'.

A new study revealed that bandages from some reputable brands including Band-Aid and CVS Health contain dangerous levels of forever chemical ‘organic fluorine’ — a strong indicator that consists of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances and also known as PFAS. 

These substances have been linked to many negative health effects, such as decreased immune system performance and vaccine response, infant and child learning and developmental issues, certain cancers, decreased fertility, endocrine disruption, and other effects.

Around 26 bandages tested recently contain detectable levels of organic fluorine ranging from 11 parts per million to 328 ppm, according to a report from Mamavation in partnership with EHN.org. 

Linda S. Birnbaum, scientist emeritus and former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences said it is concerning to learn that bandages applied to open wounds could potentially expose adults and children to PFAS.

PFAS are not required for wound care, Birnbaum said adding that the industry should remove the presence of forever chemicals from bandages and opt for PFAS-free materials. Bandages from 3M and Tru Colour, were free of organic fluorine and other harmful compounds.

“Bandages containing organic fluorine may have an organic fluorine content due to the widespread use of fluoropolymers, such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) –  PFAS," said Scott Belcher, associate professor with the Center for Environmental & Health Effects of PFAS at North Carolina State University. 

PFAS-tested consumer products include contact lenses, pasta and tomato sauces, sports bras, tampons, dental floss, electrolytes, butter wrappers, fast food packaging, diapers, condoms, and deodorants, the report said. 

While many people are aware that PFAS pollution can be found in water, Mamavation's testing keeps finding additional sources of exposure, such as items we eat, wear, or put on our bodies. 

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has conducted laboratory research that suggests skin exposure to PFAS may carry comparable health risks to ingestion of the chemicals through food or water. However, the risk of skin exposure to PFAS is not clear yet. 

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Published: 04 Apr 2024, 09:02 AM IST
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