Many people use soft contact lenses because they are traditionally more comfortable than gas permeable lenses. The FDA approved the first soft contact lenses over 50 years ago.
New research is prompting people to consider just what chemicals are found in soft contact lenses. Testing, commissioned by the Mamavation and Environmental Health News public health blogs and conducted at an EPA-certified lab, looked at 18 popular kinds of contact lenses and found extremely high levels of organic fluorine, a marker of man-made PFAS, in each.
PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which contain a strong carbon-fluorine bond that allows them to accumulate over time in the environment and in the bodies of animals and people, posing health risks. PFAS chemicals are often referred to as “forever chemicals” because most do not break down. PFAS chemicals have become common in many products we use every day.
While Congress has not yet passed any laws banning the use of PFAS in products, some states have begun banning the chemicals’ use in cosmetics and other consumer goods.