PFAS chemicals are nearly inescapable. They’re found in everything from lotion to raingear, and 97 percent of Americans have elevated levels of them in their blood. Phil Brown, a university distinguished professor of sociology and health sciences at Northeastern, explains how these chemicals could cause more serious cases of COVID-19 and potentially interfere with the efficacy of the vaccine.
A bill to establish federal regulations for a group of harmful chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday with bipartisan support. Phil Brown, director of Northeastern’s Social Science Environmental Health Institute, discusses the dangers these chemicals pose, and the challenges of regulating them.
Chemicals that have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, and pregnancy complications, known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, are in our household products, food, water, and air. We’re constantly taking them into our bodies, and these chemicals don’t just break down and go away, says Phil Brown, who directs Northeastern’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute.