Toilet Paper PFAS Troubles: A Report from Mamavation - Go Organic Campaign
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Toilet Paper PFAS Troubles: A Report from Mamavation

Toilet Paper PFAS Troubles: A Report from Mamavation

Toilet paper is an essential item that we use every day without much thought. However, this act could be contributing to the spread of dangerous pollutants in our environment. The non-profit organization, Mamavation, has commissioned a study that found PFAS “forever chemicals” in various brands of toilet paper. PFAS, which stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are man-made chemicals that are used in various consumer products for their water-resistant and non-stick properties. However, they have been linked to a variety of health concerns such as cancer, hormonal disruption, and immune system dysfunction.

Mamavation sent 17 different toilet paper products to an EPA-certified lab for testing of organic fluorine (a marker of PFAS), including both conventional and eco-friendly options. They found that 24% of the toilet paper tested positive for indications of PFAS, each between 10,000,000 and 35,000,000 parts per trillion (ppt). For reference, the EPA lifetime safe exposure limit for drinking water is only 0.02 ppt. Worrying, 50% of the products with detectable fluorine were bamboo products. The remaining 50% was split between recycled paper products and conventional wood pulp. Similar results were found in a Florida study, where recycled paper was equally likely to contain PFAS as conventional products.

The presence of PFAS in toilet paper is especially concerning not just because it is a product that comes into contact with sensitive areas of the body multiple times a day, but because it can be a major source of PFAS water pollution after flushing, and even can pollute croplands after sewage is converted to fertilizer.  PFAS has also been found in a wide range of other consumer products, including food packaging, cookware, and pesticides. Their hazardous effects on our bodies and the environment is multiplied by the fact they do not break down in the environment.

These studies highlight the need for more regulation of PFAS in consumer products. These forever chemicals will continue to pollute a wide variety of consumer goods until they are regularly banned and  tested for – something we are calling for in relation to pesticides in Maryland. For more information on this fight, read this Maryland Matters article by Bonnie Raindrop and Anna Rule.

Consumers can also take steps to reduce their exposure to PFAS by choosing these eco-friendly products which didn’t test positive for fluorine – Caboo Tree-Free Bamboo Bath Tissue, Cheeky Panda Bamboo Toilet Paper, and Reel Bamboo Toilet Paper. A full list of products can be found on the Mamavation article here.

Though PFAS in toilet paper may be unavoidable, Mamavation recommends several different types of bidets on their website .  The Hello Tushy Classic Bidet is the one most highly recommended and can be purchased for 5% with the code 5OFFTUSHY. Cheaper recommended options include the LUX Bidet Neo as well as the BLAUX Portable Bidet Sprayer.