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Random Tox Fact of the Week (RTFOW)

Random Tox Fact of the Week (RTFOW; thanks to Ken Spaith for this nugget of knowledge):  Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) are compounds used extensively in non-stick surfaces, stain resistant textiles, as well as water proofing for outdoor gear, such as GoreTex™. One way to think of them is as fluorinated surfactants: Even though fluorine is the most electronegative element, their electron clouds are balanced so that they are super lipophilic and extremely hydrophobic.  Exposure usually occurs through either contamination of drinking water near a manufacturing plant or through chronic consumer-level exposure; such as, scraping of a non-stick surface into food as it is being cooked or through leaching of the PFAS from clothing into the skin. PFAS exposure has  been associated with asthma, hepatotoxicity, renal-toxicity, ulcerative colitis, pre-eclampsia, thyroid dysfunction, testicular CA, hyperlipidemia, and increased serum uric acid levels. The molecules are usually not formally charged, and due to this fact, they are not covalently bound to the surfaces on which they are sprayed; which means, they can relatively easily contaminate the users of products containing PFAS. 

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