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PFAS pollution
PFAS Investigation

EHN partner featured in Consumer Reports' citizen science feature

Leah Segedie, founder of Mamavation, has taken it upon herself to find out where PFAS chemicals are lurking.

A new Consumer Reports' article on citizen science features a familiar face to readers.

Leah Segedie, who runs the blog and wellness community Mamavation, is dubbed the "PFAS Hunter" by Consumer Reports for her work testing products for evidence of PFAS chemicals. PFAS are linked to negative health outcomes including some cancers, reproductive problems and birth defects, among others — and Segedie has found evidence of the chemicals in everyday products such as makeup, dental floss, period underwear,sauces, workout clothing and more. Many of the products tested are labeled organic or "natural."

Using a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified lab, Segedie has sent roughly 450 products for testing. partially funds some of the testing and Pete Myers — chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes Environmental Health News — reviews the findings. Mamavation also works with other top scientists in the field including:

  • Scott Belcher, an associate professor with the Center for Environmental & Health Effects of PFAS at North Carolina State University;
  • Linda S. Birnbaum, a scientist emeritus and former director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Toxicology Program, and a scholar in residence at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University;
  • Terry Collins, Teresa Heinz professor of Green Chemistry & Director of Institute for Green Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.

Last year published an investigation examining Mamavation's findings, and explored what the implications are and why PFAS may be sneaking into products without many brands even knowing.

Read the full Consumer Reports article, and check out all of Mamavation's testing.

Watch a video below of discussing the PFAS testing with Segedie and Linda S. Birnbaum.

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