We can add toilet paper to the long list of products that are contaminated with PFAS; this pervasive contamination has led experts to recommend many Americans get tested for PFAS. It’s time to ban these dangerous chemicals.
We recently told you how PFAS contamination is worse than we previously thought because it has been found in a huge bevy of products for which it wasn’t added intentionally—PFAS can leach into products during the manufacturing process, and companies don’t even realize it. Now, a new report found that PFAS are present in several major toilet paper brands, demonstrating another route of exposure for these ubiquitous chemicals.
Considering recent findings on the high levels of PFAS exposure among the population and the evidence demonstrating the serious human health concerns from this exposure, the government’s own National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) issued a report recommending PFAS blood tests for broad swaths of the population. All of this is happening while the EPA is asleep at the wheel. This cannot go on.
The report, issued jointly by Mamavation and Environmental Health News, found that 4 of 17 toilet paper brands tested positive for fluorine, an indicator of PFAS. Levels of PFAS ranged from 10 parts per million (ppm) to 35 ppm in four brands: Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper, Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Bath Tissue, Tushy Bamboo Toilet Paper and Who Gives a Crap Bamboo Toilet Paper.
We reported previously on the extensive use of PFAS in cosmetics and other personal care products, and the particular danger this route of exposure poses. Lipstick that contains PFAS, for example, could inadvertently be ingested; PFAS in mascara could be absorbed through the tear ducts. And once PFAS enter the bloodstream, it stays there and accumulates—they aren’t called “forever” chemicals for nothing. Note that makeup is absorbed through the skin, and chemicals absorbed through the skin directly enter the bloodstream. Toilet paper containing PFAS will touch the skin, and in sensitive parts of the body with many blood vessels.