We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). The foam seeps into the ground, eventually contaminating the water. The ‘Forever Chemicals’ in 99% of Americans. PFAS are mostly unregulated by the federal government and very few water utilities currently have the technology to filter out any PFAS chemicals once they enter the drinking water supply. Certain PFAS are linked to cancer, including kidney, liver and testicular cancers. In addition, PFAS exposure may increase the risk of high cholesterol (which triggers heart attacks), reproductive toxicity (linked to birth defects and infertility), developmental toxicity (linked to lower IQ) and for pregnant women, preeclampsia, which includes high blood pressure and is linked to kidney disease. Soon after, serious health problems began hitting residents living near the facility. Therefore, despite the regulations in place, the overall concentration of PFAS in the environment keep increasing. Currently, only two PFAS chemicals have been banned globally due to data proving a link between exposure to these chemicals and effects on the liver, gastrointestinal tract and thyroid in humans and animals. Audience Relations, CBC P.O. Companies should immediately work to phase out PFAS chemicals, replacing them with safer, non-PFAS alternatives. PFAS are a broad class of … Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. What is, and is not, being done about PFAS contamination? About 700 PFAS-contaminated sites have been identified across the US while those exposed to enough chemicals can face devastating health consequences, Last modified on Mon 3 Feb 2020 08.59 EST. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. These chemicals are fluorinated substances that remain in the environment without breaking down for several decades. Some researchers say nearly every source of surface water in the country is contaminated. What Are ‘Forever Chemicals’ And How Are They Getting in Your Food? Drinking Water: We are exposed to PFAS through multiple sources. ". PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are compound chemicals often called “forever chemicals” because they don’t naturally break down and there is no known way to destroy them. Governments must act faster to phase out all PFAS, in collaboration with the EU and through global agreements. The MCS found that half of all the UK cosmetics they tested contain the chemical, and have warned that every bathroom in Britain is likely to contain the pollutant. Donald Trump has threatened to veto the PFAS Action Act, which the House passed with bipartisan support in January. Landfills can also leach PFAS because the chemicals that are in products end up in the trash. By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. It is estimated that PFAS are in 99% of Americans’ blood, and the chemicals have been found in Arctic animals. PFAS chemicals also contaminate public drinking water systems. Recent tests revelaed dangerous levels of PFAS in rain, a range of foods and sewage sludge that farmers spread on cropland as fertilizer. ), In textiles (e.g. Comments are welcome while open. Chemical companies have introduced new generations of PFAS that they claim are safer and less accumulative in the environment, but recent testing has found them to be as dangerous and perhaps more mobile than the older chemicals. And in part three, we'll look into what we know about how PFAS chemicals could be affecting our health and how we assess what's safe. It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges. Dr. Francesca Bevan, MCS Chemical Pollution Specialist, said: “The dangers which PFAS pose to the marine environment are similar to those posed by ocean plastic, a steady stream causing an ever-growing build up in the environment. States such as Washington, New York and New Hampshire have banned some products made with PFAS, while Michigan and New Jersey have lowered drinking water limits. Hundreds of everyday products are made with highly toxic fluorinated chemicals called PFAS. The advisory level remains at 70ppt. In Massachusetts, only six PFAS chemicals, out of thousands, are beginning to be monitored and regulated (as of early 2020). Landfills, military bases and industrial sites frequently contaminate soil from which the chemicals move into groundwater and aquifers, then pollute nearby wells or municipal drinking sources. Dr Bevan added: "PFAS chemicals should be banned from non-essential use in consumer and industry products solely because of their extreme persistence in the environment. Residents suspected Teflon and other PFAS used in Sant-Gobain’s fabrics were to blame, and testing appears to confirm that: officials have identified 34 PFAS in concentrations as high as 70,000 parts per trillion (ppt) throughout a 65-mile area around the plant. Peter Castagno June 7, 2019 (Photo: Pixabay) “[The FDA investigation is] really just scratching the surface. “When they’re released into world there’s no standard environmental process that breaks them down – they don’t break apart in sunlight or heat,” Andrews said. It’s clear that PFAS are “as a class harmful to so many parts of the body”, said Sonya Lunder of the Sierra Club. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in 2017 recommended dropping the “minimal risk level” from 70ppt to 12ppt for some PFAS chemicals after finding that greater exposure “could be dangerous for sensitive populations like infants and breastfeeding mothers”. Drinking water can become contaminated with PFAS by fire fighting foam which is used at military bases, firefighting training centers and airports to put out fuel driven fires and in training exercises. Governments must ensure that the environment is monitored for a wide range of PFAS chemicals. What makes the problem of PFAS more challenging is that they are an invisible threat, we can’t physically see these chemicals building up and as such, don’t know the true extent of the damage. They added that they were most commonly found in hair conditioner and face masks. Soon after, serious health problems began hitting residents living near the facility. The Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water (MCCW) advocacy group says people there suffer from high levels of cancer, cardiovascular issues, autoimmune disorders, kidney disease and developmental disorders. A 'forever chemical' found in half of all cosmetics could kill seals and dolphins, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has said as it calls for a ban. The US Green Science Policy Institute created a website dedicated to PFAS: See also reports from IPEN on PFAS available on their. Box 500 Station A Toronto, ON Canada, M5W 1E6. Still, PFAS production continues unabated. “At some point there’s going to be a backlash, and I think we’re starting to see that now.”, Why you need to know about PFAS, the chemicals in pizza boxes and rainwear, A trail of toxicity: the US military bases making people sick. In addition, several other sub-groups of PFAS are regulated at the European level via the EU chemical regulation. The technical name for these chemicals is “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” or PFAS. Studies have found that the chemicals can harm marine animals, Wednesday evening news briefing: Diego Maradona dead, Joe Biden wastes no time wading into Brexit debate as Irish roots colour his view, International aid to Afghanistan set to fall by a fifth in the next four years, Penguin Canada staff confront publisher over release of 'icon of hate speech' Jordan Peterson's new book, US considers lifting travel ban for Britons.
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