Soft Contact Lenses May Contain Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Research Finds

By The Hill
Posted on 05/16/23 | News Source: The Hill

Many types of soft contact lenses available in the U.S. could contain toxic “forever chemicals,” new research has found.

All 18 sets of soft contacts evaluated in a recent consumer study came back with various levels of organic fluorine — an indicator for the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

The 18 sets, from three major brands, were sent to a laboratory certified by the Environmental Protection Agency by the Mamavation eco-wellness website, to determine just how much of this PFAS building block was present in each product.

“Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body,” Linda Birnbaum, former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health and the National Toxicology Program, said in a statement.

“Therefore, it’s concerning to see the presence of organic fluorine, which is likely a type of PFAS, found in all soft contact lens products tested,” Birnbaum added.

There are thousands of types of PFAS, many of which are common ingredients in household products such as nonstick pans, cosmetics and outdoor apparel.

While these compounds have been used for decades due to their water- and stain-resistant properties, PFAS are also linked to a variety of illnesses, such as kidney cancer, thyroid disease and testicular cancer.