‘Forever chemicals’: the hidden threat from the toxic PFAS on your shelf

PFAS are used in paints, food packaging and even cosmetics. We know they are in our water, air, soil and bodies – but less about how they will affect us

For months I’ve been watching the construction of our new garage. The breeze-block walls have been built, soffits are in place under the eaves, the concrete floor has been poured and slate tiles are being fixed on to the roof. Soon it will be time to render the exterior with sand and cement, to seal and waterproof the walls, to varnish the new fencing, and finish it all off with a shiny coat of paint.

, ‘Forever chemicals’: the hidden threat from the toxic PFAS on your shelf, The Nzuchi Times Guardian

That means a trip to the DIY store, where the shelves are full of marketing appeals. Glossy varnishes promise to colour wood for five years. Fence treatments are UV resistant and rainproof within half an hour and protect against rot. Masonry paint is no longer just about the colour: do I need pure brilliant or ultra-smooth, anti-mould or weatherproof?

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