PFAS and the Built Environment: The Science Behind "Forever Chemicals" in Built Environments [HSW]

In the rapidly evolving landscape of interior design, the conscientious selection of materials is crucial for environmental sustainability and human health. This presentation, led by a researcher from Chemical Insights Research Institute, delves into the presence of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in interiors. PFAS, commonly known as 'forever chemicals', are widely used for their water and stain resistance qualities in various products, ranging from furnishings to architectural finishes. This session begins with an overview of PFAS, particularly focusing on their environmental persistence and potential health impacts. We will discuss their specific applications in the commercial design sector, highlighting how these chemicals can inadvertently become part of our indoor environments. We will explore current research and developments in alternative materials that offer similar functional benefits without the environmental and health risks associated with PFAS. Designed for architects, designers, and industry stakeholders, this presentation aims to inform and inspire a shift towards more sustainable and health-conscious material choices in interior design.

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