Much of rural Canada is responsible for producing food for Canadians, including maize, beef, barley, and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. While farmers do all they can to prevent toxic contamination of everything they grow and raise, they cannot prevent the contamination of PFOS, a chemical that has been used for decades in commercial applications, manufacturing, and fire prevention equipment. Even if you are not a farmer, but you live in rural Canada, the dangers are still very real. Here are some of the health problems to watch for and how you can stop PFOS from poisoning your family.
PFOS (Perfluorooctane Sulfanate)
PFOS is the leading ingredient in fire extinguishers and the foam used by firefighters. Given that it can save thousands of lives from tragic fires every year, the other health risks are outweighed by its lifesaving effectiveness against fires. The downside is that it can sink into the groundwater and travel by both air and water. In rural Canada where these chemicals will not simply flow into a sewer drain or city sewer system, PFOS is a serious problem.
Diseases Connected to PFOS
PFOS has been found in blood, urine, breast milk, and other bodily fluids. It does not break down easily over time, so it is not likely that your liver and kidneys will be able to filter it all out just by moving into the cities. This puts you, and your babies, at risk.
Directly linked to PFOS are:
- Kidney disease (because the kidneys are responsible for flushing blood toxins after they have been processed in the liver)
- Ulcerative colitis (inflammation, open sores, and bleeding within the colon)
- Thyroid disease (because PFOS affects the body's ability to metabolize toxins, and the thyroid is a metabolic organ)
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Extremely high cholesterol (because the liver is responsible for processing cholesterol and is unable to do so when it is full of PFOS)
- Metastatic metabolic cancers
That is only the short list of problems connected to adult health. In children, it is worse. In infants drinking their mother's milk laden with PFOS, childhood cancers have been discovered.
What You Can Do about It
You may already infected with PFOS. However, you can get PFOS treatment for your well. As for your own health, it is advisable to stop using non-stick pans for cooking (since the non-stick coating has PFOS in it), and begin using bottled water for drinking, washing dishes, and bathing. You should do so until your well water expert has cleared your well of PFOS for six months or more. Because it takes three to five years to remove PFOS from your body, there is no time like the present to get started.