By Kristine Wong
According to data from the Regional Monitoring Program, common coatings and repellants used in textiles for clothing and furniture are sticking around in San Francisco Bay water, sediment, and wildlife. “The reason for the lack of declines is not clear,” says researcher Meg Sedlak of the San Francisco Estuary Institute. Some early environmental offenders in this line of fluorinated chemicals (PFASs) have been banned, including one used in the cookware coated with Teflon. “In 2006 and 2009, the levels of some PFAS we found in Bay cormorant eggs were among the highest observed concentrations in the world,” says Sedlak. In January 2017, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control held a one day workshop to share knowledge about PFASs. “We were able to bring all these players together and have an actual dialogue,” says Dr. Simona Balan with the Safer Consumer products program. Players agreed that some of the PFASs (with longer chemical chains) needed to be phased out.