What's New :
Political Science Optional Foundation 2024 - Batch Starts: 21st February
Law Optional Foundation 2024, Batch Starts: 24th February
Public Administration Optional Foundation 2024, Batch Starts: 22th February
Sociology Optional Foundation 2024, Batch Starts: 22th February
Anthropology Optional Foundation 2024, Batch Starts: 22th February
History Optional Foundation 2024, Batch Starts: 22th February
Geography Foundation 2024, Batch Starts: 22th February

Forever Chemicals contaminating rainwater globally

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    27th Aug, 2022

Context

According to a recent study, rainwater from many places across the globe is contaminated with “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” (PFAs), which are called “forever chemicals” because of their tendency to stick around in the atmosphere, rainwater and soil for long periods of time.

About

What are Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs)?

  • The per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water.
  • PFAs can migrate to the soil, water and air during their production and use.
  • Since most PFAs do not break down, they remain in the environment for long periods of time.
  • Many PFAS, including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are a concern because they:
    • do not break down in the environment,
    • can move through soils and contaminate drinking water sources,
    • build up (bioaccumulate) in fish and wildlife.
    • PFAS are found in rivers and lakes and in many types of animals on land and in the water.

      PFAS are used in a wide range of consumer products due to their ability to repel both grease and water, including:

      • In paper and cardboard food packaging (e.g. takeaway containers, popcorn bags, pizza boxes, ready-made cakes etc.)
      • In non-stick cookware
      • In textiles (e.g. waterproof outdoor clothing and equipment, carpets, mattresses etc.)
      • In cosmetics (e.g. hair conditioner, foundation cream, sunscreen etc.)
      • In electronics (e.g. smartphones)

Risks to human health:

Exposure to certain levels of PFAS may lead to:

  • Reproductive effects such as decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women.
  • Developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes.
  • Increased risk of some cancers, including prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers.
  • Reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections, including reduced vaccine response.
  • Interference with the body’s natural hormones.
  • Increased cholesterol levels and/or risk of obesity.

Regulation of PFAS (Globally)

  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international treaty aiming to eliminate or restrict the production and use of the most toxic chemicals of global concern.
  • Currently, two sub-group of PFAS are listed in the convention: PFOS and related substances since 2009 for global restriction and PFOA and related substances since 2019 for global elimination.
X

Verifying, please be patient.

Enquire Now