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Podcast Concept
PFAS: Zooming In
Genres: Documentary and Reality
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PFAS: Zooming In
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90 years ago, in a lab at the DuPont chemical company, chemists accidentally discovered a wonder-molecule that was incredibly durable and had the dual property of being sticky on one side and slippery on the other. Pretty quickly, they realized this stuff could be really useful. Originally, it was used as part of the Manhattan Project, because it could hold volatile chemicals without reacting. In the early 1960's, it became the key ingredient of non-stick cooking pans. Today, we know this miracle molecule as "Teflon", the first PFAS, or per- and polyflouroalkyl substance. PFAS are everywhere now: fast food wrappers, waterproof fabrics, ski wax, and stain-resistant fabrics, just to start. They're even used to make piano keys less squeaky!

But, the same properties that make PFAS really useful, durability and stickiness/slipperiness, also mean they don't break down in nature and move around our environment with ease. Recent studies find PFAS in the blood of 99% of Americans. And, it turns out, PFAS are linked to myriad health problems, including high cholesterol, kidney and testicular cancer, and even reduced immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine.

This podcast concept is the pilot of a series that explores the history and impact of PFAS, asking the question: what do we do with these chemicals that are simultaneously incredibly useful and devastatingly harmful?
Studio: Meandering Media
From: United States
Produced In: United States

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