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Popular contact lenses could contain toxic ‘forever chemicals,’ new study finds

New research has revealed that various types of soft contact lenses in the U.S. could contain toxic “forever chemicals.”

That’s according to a recent consumer study by Mamavation — an “eco-wellness product investigation community” powered by a California mother — in partnership with Environmental Health News, a publication of Environmental Health Sciences, which is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.

For the study, 18 sets of popular soft contact lenses were sent to an EPA-certified lab to search for indications of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

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A spokesperson for Alcon, based in Geneva, Switzerland, said in a statement to Fox News Digital that its contact lenses have been shown to be safe and are used daily by millions of people in more than 140 countries.  

“All of Alcon’s contact lenses meet our stringent internal safety standards and comply with the regulatory requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Chemicals Agency or similar regulatory bodies in all of the markets in which we sell our products,” the spokesperson said.

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PFAS are most often used in products as stain-resistant, oil-resistant and water-resistant chemicals, Mamavation reported.

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The study findings said PFAS are considered “persistent and toxic” with the potential to last for “decades” in the human body.

Environmental Health Sciences chief scientist Pete Myers told Mamavation that assuming this level of organic fluorine in contact lenses is safe is “laughable.”

“It’s worth noting that all the contact lenses tested exceeded 100 ppm, which is equivalent to 100,000,000 ppt or 50,000 times higher than the highest level deemed safe in drinking water by the EPA,” he also said.

“Comparing drinking levels in water to concentrations in contact lenses is like comparing apples to oranges.”

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“Because each lens manufacturer uses different materials, these studies do not clearly state if there are contact lenses that contain fewer chemicals than others,” he said.

“In 43 years of practice, I have not found that individuals who wear contact lenses are affected by eye diseases more than those who do not,” Grossman added.

Contact lens wearers should practice good hygiene to avoid eye infections. 

The eye is one of the most sensitive areas of the human body – and researchers suggested that contact wearers practice good hygiene to avoid eye infections, such as washing hands, removing the lenses for sleep and never reusing eye contact solution, as Fox17 also noted about the new study.

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