Frequently Asked Questions
Is your film only about GenX?
We chose the name GenX to address a huge misconception: that there is only one chemical, but the reality is a whole cocktail of similar chemicals. While many folks have already heard of GenX, there are thousands of PFASs like GenX, and of all we know, each appears to be toxic and dangerous.
What the heck are PFASs?
PFAS stands for Per & Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substance: this roughly means “having many fluorine-carbon bonds on the molecule”. Carbon-fluorine bonds are extremely strong, which is why PFASs do not break down over time and are therefore a serious threat to each of us. Since the 1950s, PFASs have been used to make non-stick coatings like Teflon, Goretex, rain-jackets, as coating in fast food packaging, paper products and fire fighting foams. They are still widely used to this day and continue to build up in our water, food, soil and bodies.
If PFASs are so useful to daily life, what's the problem?
Of the ~5,000 PFASs that exist, those which have been studied are found to be toxic and at very low levels (part-per-trillion ranges). They have been linked to a wide host of health problems such as: cancer, immune system dysfunction, thyroid disease, liver dysfunction, obesity, and more. Worst of all, PFASs persist for thousands of years - so each day the problem is getting bigger and more difficult to deal with. There isn’t a person on earth that doesn’t have some PFASs in their body, and that should not be the case.
Where are PFASs found?
They have been detected in water, food, air, dust and soil on a global scale including but not limited to: the United States, China, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom
What can I do to avoid PFASs?
Water: Reverse-Osmosis under-the-sink units appear to be effective, but we recommend you don’t buy filters by DuPont or 3M - some of the biggest PFAS polluters in the world.
Food: Avoid foods served on grease-resistant paper, as PFASs have found to pass from wrapper to food. If you live near major pollution sources, it may not be wise to eat from your own garden - unfortunately this area needs more data.
Household: Opt out of stain-proof carpeting and appliances, as these have been found to accumulate in people and pets - are the health risks worth the convenience? We don’t think so.
Community: Ask your local government if they are aware of PFAS exposure - are you in a hotspot? Is your water utility aware? This is a problem that takes all of us to address, and the first step is to educate and inform.
Does my Brita filter do anything to help?
Probably not, as Brita appears to use activated carbon and ion-exchange. These were tested by labs at NC State University and they don’t appear to effectively capture all PFASs.