one green planet
one green planet

If you are a contact lens user, recent research findings may cause you to rethink your choices. A recent study indicates that numerous soft contact lenses available in the U.S. could contain harmful polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals.”

The Mamavation conducted the study, analyzing 18 sets of contact lenses from three leading brands. They tested each set for organic fluorine, a key component of PFAS. Disturbingly, all tested sets contained varying amounts of this harmful substance.

“Your eyes are one of the most delicate parts of your body,” says Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health and the National Toxicology Program. She expresses deep concern over the discovery of organic fluorine, a PFAS variant, in all tested contact lenses.

PFAS comprises a range of synthetic chemicals found in everyday household items such as non-stick cookware, cosmetics, and weather-resistant clothing. These substances are known for their resistance to water and stains. However, they are also associated with numerous health issues, including kidney cancer, thyroid disease, and testicular cancer.

The study found organic fluorine concentrations in the contact lenses ranging from 105 to 20,700 parts per million (ppm). Around 22 percent of the lenses contained over 18,000 ppm, and 44 percent had over 4,000 ppm. These concentrations are shocking when compared to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) advisory levels for PFAS in drinking water, which range from 0.004 parts per trillion to 2,000 parts per trillion.

Pete Myers, Chief Scientist at Environmental Health Sciences, acknowledges the challenges of comparing PFAS levels in water and contact lenses. Still, he points out the alarmingly high fluorine content in all tested lenses. Myers states that this concentration is “50,000 times higher than the highest level deemed safe in drinking water by the EPA.”

While no research conclusively links PFAS exposure to eye diseases, the sensitivity of the human eye warrants concern over contact lenses as a possible exposure route.

A 2020 study from China found that adults with elevated PFAS blood levels might be at higher risk for specific eye conditions. Terrence Collins, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Green Sciences, advises caution, recommending that users avoid such contact lenses.

While researchers continue to explore this issue, it may be prudent to explore alternatives to soft contact lenses or opt for brands that certify their products as PFAS-free.

Wake Up Climate Change Is Real by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

Wake Up Climate Change Is Real by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!

Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.