Harmful PFAS Found in Rainwater
A new study done by Stockholm University has discovered Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are found in all rainwater globally at dangerously high levels.
PFAS are a group of over 4,700 manufactured chemicals, typically found in oil and grease products. Also known as “forever chemicals” PFAS typically take thousands of years to break down in our environment.
Should We Worry About PFAS? The Danger They Pose
PFAS have been found in our soil and water since the 1940s, and according to the CDC, can cause a large variety of health risks such as cancer, liver and thyroid problems, decreased fertility, and more. Although most industrialized countries don’t regularly drink rainwater, many around the world expect that rainwater would be safe to drink.
Unfortunately, not even remote, uninhabited locations like Antartica are safe from PFAS exposure. This study found that rainwater samples from Antartica and the Tibetan plateau contained PFAS levels 14 times higher than the United States EPA guidelines allow.
SiliconExpert will be keeping an eye out for new chemical regulation changes moving forward as scientists begin to find solutions to freeing our rainwater of harmful substances.
Expect Additional Scrutiny into PFAS in Electronics Manufacturing
EU’s REACH already restricts the manufacture and use of certain PFAS, including PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and its salts, and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) has been restricted since 2010 under EU’s Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) law. However, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands have all proposed a join REACH restriction of all PFAS. This study could be the push needed to update the REACH database.
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