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Scientists found another way we're exposed to 'forever chemicals': Through our skin

This study adds to the limited body of evidence that proves dermal exposure to PFAS can lead to skin absorption

A first-of-its-kind study has found that "forever chemicals" - toxic compounds found in everyday beauty and personal care items like sunscreen, waterproof mascara and lipstick - can seep through human skin and enter the bloodstream.

"If you put some of these products directly onto your skin and they contain PFAS, there's a very high potential for them to be transferred across the skin," said study co-author Stuart Harrad, whose research was published this week in Environment International.

In early April, the Environmental Protection Agency set its first-ever limit on these "forever chemicals" in drinking water, following mounting evidence that chemicals in contaminated water can pose a health risk to people at even the smallest detectable levels of exposure. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a man-made class of thousands of carbon-fluorine bonded compounds developed to make products and coatings that repel grease, water, oil and heat. Known as "forever chemicals," PFAS can persist in the environment for centuries.


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