D H
Oct 18 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

Are PFAS "forever chemicals" the next big pollution crisis?

PFAS (or per/poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a family of chemical compounds commonly known as “forever chemicals” as they can persist in the environment and in organisms and are highly toxic, causing a litany of health and environmental concerns. PFAS are associated with numerous adverse health effects in humans, such as ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, and cancers of the pancreas, ovaries, testicles, kidneys, and liver, and they are possibly linked to hormone disruption which in itself can cause a wide range of negative health effects. PFAS can be found in food packaging, Teflon kitchenware, household cleaning products, cosmetics, fire-fighting foams, we have probably all been exposed to these toxic chemicals, especially those working in industries such as manufacture of electronics, furniture, artificial leather, chrome plating, or fire-fighters. There is also now significant concern that chemical dumping by large manufacturers has made PFAS common in tap water and as a result increasingly in our food, as these chemicals are bioaccumulative and just build up in organisms over time. There are currently few countries that have set national standards on maximum safe amounts for PFAS in tap water, and most countries do not even test for PFAS. Are PFAS chemicals the next mega-environmental crisis?
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Yes, they are also worsening climate change
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Yes
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No, but we need to act
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Yes, they are also worsening climate change

On the surface the PFAS pollution crisis may seem a distinct issue, but it is one that will not only worsen as climate change does and clean water supply becoming increasingly difficult, however the manufacture of PFAS may also be actively contributing to climate change also. PFAS may be connected to climate change as PFAS chemical manufacture may have been releasing HCFC-22, a chemical banned since the Montreal Protocol against ozone depletion, this CFC chemical it is around 5,000 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. PFAS manufacture is definitely creating a distinct pollution crisis that is likely to be detrimental to health for decades, but it is also possibly leading to the culmination of a series of environmental disasters and remains mostly unaccounted for in discussions on climate change.

mondaq.com/unitedstates/climate-change/1114542/pfas-linked-to-climate-change-according-to-environmental-ngo theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/16/forever-chemicals-pfas-production-greenhouse-gases-analysis-finds enviro.epa.gov/triexplorer/release_fac?p_view=USFA&trilib=TRIQ1&sort=RE_TOLBY&sort_fmt=2&state=All+states&county=All+counties&chemical=0000075456&industry=ALL&year=2019&tab_rpt=1&fld=TRIID&fld=RELLBY&fld=TSFDSP

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D H
Oct 24
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Yes

PFAS is an umbrella term for over 4000 chemicals that are some of the most threatening chemical ever invented, and humans have been exposed for decades and decades with them being present in everything from Teflon pans to food packaging, and most concerning, our drinking water. These chemicals do a good job of repelling water, grease and dirt and they are a ubiquitous part of modern life, but they do not degrade unless exposed to extremely high temperatures, so they are extremely difficult to get rid of. They are so widespread PFAS particulates have even been found in the artic icecaps and the blood of polar bears, and they have been detected in the blood of human across the world and are likely to be in the blood of us all. Not a lot is known about the full effect PFAS have in the human body and the scale of their spread, but they seem to affect cell membranes, disrupt hormones in the body and reduce the body’s immune system. Following the pandemic it is likely that rising levels of cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and hormone disruption disorders are linked to these forever chemicals.

youtube.com/watch?v=lVcOxZZGrBc ewg.org/pfaschemicals/what-are-forever-chemicals.html truthout.org/articles/as-us-reels-from-covid-19-the-pfas-pollution-crisis-is-quietly-growing theguardian.com/society/2020/feb/03/pfas-forever-chemicals-what-are-they

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D H
Oct 24
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No, but we need to act

The US, Germany, Norway, Denmark and Sweden is beginning to address it, and so are companies already, it will not be a case that these chemicals persist beyond the point of manufacture, companies and countries will gradually move away from PFAS and they will EVENTUALLY degrade. Overtime and with greater understanding science will probably generate new methods of degrading or remediating environments that are contaminated with PFAS, and there are currently nine methods that work to remove PFAS chemicals from water supplies. In this way the PFAS crisis is not as big and unsolved a problem as climate change, and is more akin to the plastic crisis, something that is solvable with better habits, legislation, and waste management infrastructure. There is already a historic precedent for banning some chemicals in the large PFAS family internationally, so it is foreseeable that they could be banned entirely, and an international labelling system for products that contain PFAS chemicals or are manufactured with them would go a long way to educate and let global markets eliminate PFAS. But in recent years we have seen serious water pollution issues in cities like Flint, Michigan and more recently Benton Harbour in the same state, these issues are much more easy to solved than PFAS and should be the obvious first step in cleaning up water supplies.

pfas-1.itrcweb.org/12-treatment-technologies battelle.org/government-offerings/energy-environment/environmental-services/pfas-assessment-mitigation?gclid=CjwKCAiA0uLgBRABEiwAecFnkxYeWkGcQGadQ7jSjyDARNQW8ComIJhBePweSebN8Fu3n5SXfwe_mhoCL30QAvD_BwE phys.org/news/2020-01-house-legislation-pfas-chemical-contamination.html youtube.com/watch?v=lVcOxZZGrBc

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Oct 19
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