In our blood: how the US allowed toxic chemicals to seep into our lives

Experts say that the majority of the 86,000 consumer chemicals registered with the Environmental Protection Agency have never received vigorous toxicity testing.

This article is copublished with the Examination, a new non-profit newsroom specializing in global health reporting.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), found in the body of most Americans, is just one of dozens of chemicals increasingly linked to serious ailments.

For decades, it was the secret behind the magic show of homemaking across the US. Applied to a pan, it could keep a fried egg from sticking to the surface. Soaked into a carpet, it could shrug off spills of red wine. Sprayed onto shoes and coats, it could keep the kids dry on a rainy day.

But the most clandestine maneuver of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was much less endearing: seeping into the blood and organs of hundreds of millions of people who used products containing the chemical.

Author: Kyle Bagenstose

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