Lab Matters Winter 2019 | Page 6

FEATURE Mobilizing Laboratories to Protect Communities by Nancy Maddox, MPH, writer In the 1930s—when manufacturers began a frenzied period of product development, creating vinyl, nylon and a host of other synthetic materials—scientists made a seminal discovery: bonding fluorine atoms to a simple carbon backbone yields compounds with amazing chemical properties, such as ultra-low friction, fierce water repellency and exceptionally long half-lives. 4 LAB MATTERS Winter 2019 PublicHealthLabs @APHL