Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Global Problem of Forever Chemicals

Forever chemicals are almost everywhere. If you search for PFAS contamination in any country, continent, or wildlife species around the world, the chances are you will find it. This revelation comes after a massive analysis of data by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has exposed the global scale of the PFAS problem. 

PFAS or toxic "forever chemicals" are harmful substances that pollute the environment, and expose both people and animals to a number of health risks. To help show the threat of forever chemicals to wildlife around the world the EWG has released a new interactive map which visualizes the extent of PFAS contamination. The map was created following an extensive study of over 125 scientific reports on PFAS contamination in wildlife. 

The EWG study reveals that wherever we look for forever chemicals around the world we find them. The fact that PFAS is present in wildlife samples from all over the world suggests that the contamination issue is a global problem. It is also extremely worrying for human health, as even the occasional consumption of contaminated fish or meat will increase the amount of PFAS in an individual.

If you are worried about the impact of forever chemicals on the environment then you can read EWG's new peer-reviewed paper, published in Science of the Total Environment and explore EWG's interactive map, Global Danger: Threatened Wildlife at Risk from PFAS Exposure

The map reveals the extent of PFAS exposure to freshwater fish across the whole United States. According to the EWG eating "just one PFAS-contaminated freshwater fish per month could be the equivalent of drinking a glass of water with very high levels of PFOS or other forever chemicals". However it isn't just fish that are being contaminated by forever chemicals. The map shows that fish, birds and mammals across the world are being exposed and contaminated by PFAS.

The new global map of forever chemicals is just the latest effort of the EWG to expose the problems of PFAS contamination. It follows their previous map of Forever Chemicals in Freshwater Fish and their list of the 100 U.S. Military Sites With the Worst PFAS Contamination.

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