PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ constantly cycle through ground, air and water, study finds
By Tom Perkins | The Guardian | December 18, 2021
Read the full article by Tom Perkins (The Guardian)
"Toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” in the ocean are transported from seawater to air when waves hit the beach and that phenomenon represents a significant source of air pollution, a new study from Stockholm University has found.
The findings, published in Environmental Science & Technology, also partly explain how PFAS get into the atmosphere and eventually precipitation. The study, which collected samples from two Norwegian sites, also concludes that the pollution “may impact large areas of inland Europe and other continents, in addition to coastal areas”.
“The results are fascinating but at the same time concerning,” said Bo Sha, a Stockholm University researcher and study co-author.
PFAS are a class of chemicals used across dozens of industries to make products resistant to water, stains and heat. Though the compounds are highly effective, they are also linked to cancer, kidney disease, birth defects, decreased immunity, liver problems and a range of other serious diseases.
The study highlights the chemicals’ mobility once they’re released into the environment: PFAS don’t naturally break down, so they continuously move through the ground, water and air and their longevity in the environment has led them to be dubbed “forever chemicals”. They have been detected in all corners of the globe, from penguin eggs in Antarctica to polar bears in the Arctic."