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Prescription Drugs Laced with PFAS

Prescription Drugs Laced with PFAS
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A study found that common drugs contain PFAS “forever chemicals”, and the EPA is working hard…to protect these drug makers. Action Alert!

More than 131 million Americans—66 percent of adults—take a prescription drug. Most of these drugs come with substantial side effects, but you probably didn’t know that many of them also contain PFAS “forever” chemicals that are linked with a variety of negative health effects. Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to make sure you never do, because the agency has developed a “working definition” of PFAS chemicals that excludes thousands of PFAS chemicals that are captured by the definitions used by other scientific bodies. This means more exposure to dangerous chemicals for us, and more profits for chemical and drug manufacturers. We need to fight for the EPA to take this issue more seriously.

Some of the brand names of PFAS-containing drugs rank among some of the world’s top sellers: Lipitor, Prozac, Flonase, Lexapro, Crestor, Celexa, Invokana, Paxil, Prevacid, and more are among the top 500 drugs prescribed in the US. Millions of Americans are ingesting drugs likely containing PFAS chemicals, but have no idea…and the EPA isn’t doing anything about it. PFAS have been used for decades in the pharmaceutical industry to alter the chemical properties of a drug to achieve a desired pharmacological effect.

A recent analysis found that the EPA’s working definition of PFAS chemicals excludes about 5,500 PFAS compounds. A recent study put the EPA’s failure into sharp perspective. The study compared the definitions of PFAS used by several scientific bodies and assessed how many of 360 PFAS-containing pharmaceuticals would fall under each definition. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s definition, for example, captured 107, or 30 percent, of these pharmaceuticals; the EPA’s working definition captured 5, or 1.4 percent.

This is a clear gift to the pharmaceutical industry. The EPA conveniently adopts a narrow definition of PFAS that does not apply to many of the chemicals used in pharmaceuticals, so drug companies can continue business as usual. Americans get poisoned, but the profits keep rolling in.

As we’ve reported previously, PFAS are associated with a wide range of negative health effects like cancer, thyroid disorders, developmental problems with fetuses, kidney disease, and more. These chemical compounds are found in numerous products to provide non-stick or water resistant qualities.

As a result of the pervasive use of PFAS in consumer, military and industrial products, there is now widespread contamination of PFAS in our water, air, food and soil across the world. Meanwhile, our government permits the continued use of this chemical in spite of its extreme toxicity, and wants to turn a blind eye towards thousands of dangerous PFAS compounds. This is completely unacceptable.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and the EPA, telling them to ban PFAS chemicals. Please send your message immediately.

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