Rainwater, breastmilk and blood contaminated by forever chemicals – is it time for an EU ban?

2022-10-20

PFAS or ‘forever chemicals’ have been discovered globally in rainwater, breast milk, wild animals and countless rivers and water sources.

Concerns around this widespread and dangerous pollution are growing. Chemicals in this extremely persistent group of around 12,000 different substances don’t break down naturally and some forms of PFAS can take over 1,000 years to degrade.

Last week a group of around 45 NGOs published a manifesto calling for EU member states and the Commission to completely ban all of these forever chemicals.

“There is clear and unequivocal evidence that demonstrates global contamination of the environment, wildlife and human populations by PFAS,” wrote organisations including Client Earth and Greenpeace. They added that these are the most persistent human-made chemicals known to date.

“There are 1,000s of different PFAS. However, it is of great concern that only a handful are currently controlled by regulations at the global level even though many safer alternatives are readily available.”

They are asking for PFAS to be banned in consumer products by 2025 and for a complete ban by 2030.

So just how widespread is the forever chemical problem in Europe? Here are just a few examples of PFAS pollution.

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Euronews.green, 20.10.22
; https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/10/20/rainwater-breastmilk-and-blood-contaminated-by-forever-chemicals-is-it-time-for-an-eu-ban