Study finds cancer-causing chemical in Band-Aid and other bandages

Study finds cancer-causing chemical in Band-Aid and other bandages

Many common bandages, including those from well-known brands such as Band-Aid and Curad, contain significant levels of harmful “forever chemicals,” or PFAS. A survey conducted by environmental health and consumer watchdogs Mamavation and Environmental Health News revealed this shocking finding.

Study finds cancer-causing chemical in Band-Aid and other bandages

The study’s main finding is not only shocking but also a major concern for millions of people throughout the world who use bandages regularly. These chemicals can enter the bloodstream via open wounds, potentially causing several health problems.

After analyzing 40 bandages from 18 different brands, the study found that 26 of them contained measurable quantities of organic fluorine, which is an indicator of dangerous PFAS compounds. The levels measured exceeded 10 parts per million (ppm).

PFAS “forever chemicals” were detected on 65% of all tested bandages.

63% of bandages marketed to People of Color with black and brown skin tones had PFAS “forever chemicals.” Ranges of organic fluorine, a marker for PFAS, were from 11 ppm to 328 ppm.

“Because bandages are placed upon open wounds, it’s troubling to learn that they may be also exposing children and adults to PFAS. It’s obvious from the data that PFAS are not needed for wound care, so it’s important that the industry remove their presence to protect the public from PFAS and opt instead for PFAS-free materials.” Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, co-author of the study and former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, expressed her concern, stated.

Why are PFAS used in bandages?

According to Mamavation, PFAS compounds are likely used in bandages due to their waterproof properties. However, these compounds have been linked to a variety of health concerns, including growth, reproduction, obesity, and cancer. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are synthetic chemicals that are resistant to heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. They are often found in products such as adhesives, nonstick cookware, and food packaging.

What are the “Forever Chemicals”?

PFAS chemicals have received the term “forever chemicals” due to their strong resistance to degradation and ability to persist in the human body for years. They can enter the bloodstream via intake or direct touch and embed in healthy tissue, possibly resulting in organ damage.

A list of high-risk bandage brands

While the study looked at a variety of brands, the bandages with higher levels of fluorine (over 100 parts per million) are:

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