A mapping project covering the UK and Europe has shown the build up of the
‘Forever Chemical’. The ‘Forever Chemical’ is a mixture of 10,000 chemicals known
as Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals don’t break down in the
environment and build up in the body and may become toxic if found at high levels.
Two PFAS have been linked to an array of health problems. PFOA has related to
kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol and
pregnancy-induced hypertension. PFOS has been associated with reproductive,
developmental, liver, kidney, and thyroid disease. At lower levels PFAS have been
associated with immunotoxicity.
The substances have been found at about 17,000 sites across the UK and Europe.
Of these, PFAS have been detected at high concentrations of more than 1,000
nanograms a litre of water at about 640 sites, and above 10,000ng/l at 300 locations.