Health officials and advocates called for new research on the group of chemicals known as PFASs (or PFCs) on Friday, raising concerns that the substances could pose health risks.
The chemicals can be found in a wide range of consumer goods that require durability, from camping tents to pizza boxes. DuPont, one of the major manufacturers to use these chemicals, says multiple studies have proven they are safe. But advocacy organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) says animal studies have shown links to birth defects and low birth weight.
Here are 9 products that often contain PFASs, according to the EWG:
1. Takeout containers such as pizza boxes and sandwich wrappers
2. Non-stick pots, pans and utensils
3. Popcorn bags
4. Outdoor clothing
5. Camping tents
6. Stain-repellant or water-repellant clothing
7. Stain treatments for clothing and furniture
8. Carpeting and carpet treatments
9. Certain cosmetics
Linda S. Birnbaum of the Department of Health and Human Services and Philippe Grandjean of Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health wrote in a National Institutes of Health journal that more research is needed to better understand the risks this group of chemicals might pose. "The question is," they asked, "should these chemicals continue to be used in consumer products in the meantime?"
EWG consultant Bill Walker told TIME he believes consumers should err on the side of caution, saying there is no reason to "wait 10 or 15 years" for regulators to make safety changes.