Popular Bandage Brands Band-Aid, Walmart and CVS Test Positive For Toxic PFAS

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of approximately 15,000 chemicals commonly utilized to provide products with water, stain, and heat resistance. These chemicals, aptly termed “forever chemicals,” persist in the environment and have been linked to numerous serious health issues, including cancer, liver problems, birth defects, and more.

Despite the risks associated with PFAS, many companies do not disclose their use of these chemicals in their products, often citing them as trade secrets. The lack of regulation from organizations like the Food and Drug Administration further exacerbates the issue, with no limits currently imposed on PFAS levels in personal care items.

A recent study has revealed concerning levels of toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” in many popular bandage brands in the US, sparking worries about the safety of these commonly used products.

woman putting a bandaid on her child's arm

The research, which tested 40 different types of bandages from well-known companies like Band-Aid, Curad, Walmart, and CVS, found that a staggering 65% contained alarming levels of PFAS markers. These chemicals were detected in both the adhesive flaps and the absorbent pads of the bandages, which come into direct contact with wounds.

According to Linda Birnbaum, a former senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency who analyzed the findings, these results should serve as a “wake-up call” for companies using PFAS in their products. She emphasized the direct route these chemicals can take into the body through bandages, particularly through absorbent pads that come into contact with wounds.

While PFAS are commonly used in bandage adhesives to improve bonding, the highest levels were found in the absorbent pads, possibly due to their role in preventing blood from seeping through. However, the exact reasons for their presence in these products remain unclear, as companies often conceal such information.

Despite these findings, approximately one-third of the bandage brands tested did not contain PFAS, indicating that these chemicals are not essential for the effectiveness of bandages. The bandages without evidence of PFAS tended to come from smaller brands, such as Patch Bamboo Bandages for Kids With Coconut Oil, with nothing detected on the pad or the flaps; and dark brown TRU COLOR Skin Tone Bandages, which also had no detectable fluorine.

In light of these discoveries, Birnbaum stressed the importance of reducing unnecessary PFAS usage to prevent further environmental and health consequences. As PFAS continue to accumulate in our surroundings and bodies, addressing their indiscriminate use is crucial for public health and the environment.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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