Revealed: Scale of ‘Forever Chemical’ Pollution Across UK and Europe
Major mapping project reveals PFAS have been found at high levels at thousands of sites
February 23, 2023 | Source: The Guardian | by Rachel Salvidge and Leana Hosea
Pollutants known as “forever chemicals”, which don’t break down in the environment, build up in the body and may be toxic, have been found at high levels at thousands of sites across the UK and Europe, a major mapping project has revealed.
The map shows that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a family of about 10,000 chemicals valued for their non-stick and detergent properties, have made their way into water, soils and sediments from a wide range of consumer products, firefighting foams, waste and industrial processes.
Two PFAS have been linked to an array of health problems. PFOA has been connected with kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol and pregnancy-induced hypertension. PFOS has been associated with reproductive, developmental, liver, kidney, and thyroid disease. At lower levels PFAS have been associated with immunotoxicity.