Posts Tagged ‘PFAS’

Rapidly rising levels of TFA ‘forever chemical’ alarm experts

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Rapidly rising levels of TFA, a class of “forever chemical” thought to damage fertility and child development, are being found in drinking water, blood and rain, causing alarm among experts.

Studies from across the world are reporting sharp rises in TFA. A major source is F-gases, which were brought in to replace ozone-depleting CFCs in refrigeration, air conditioning, aerosol sprays and heat pumps. Pesticides, dyes and pharmaceuticals can also be sources.

“Everywhere you look it’s increasing. There’s no study where the concentration of TFA hasn’t increased,” said David Behringer, an environmental consultant who has studied TFA in rain for the German government.

PFAS investigation now a scientific paper

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The work of the Forever Pollution Project, of which Watershed is a part, has been published in the scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology. It sets out the methodology used to map PFAS contamination in Europe and the lessons learned from this pioneering expert-reviewed journalism project.

With thanks to Stephane Horel, Alissa Cordner, Phil Brown, Ian Cousins, Martin Scheringer, Derrick Salvatore, Kimberly Garrett, Gretta Goldenman, Luc Martinon, Catharina Felke, Gary Dagorn, Raphaelle Aubert, Nadja Tausche, Daniel Drepper, Gianluca Liva, Sarah Pilz, Ana Tudela Flores, Antonio Delgado, Emmanuel Morimont, Romane Bonneme.

Mersey suffers from major PFAS pollution

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Watershed’s article in The Times reports that cancer-causing chemical loads flowing through the River Mersey catchment are among the largest recorded in the world and most of it is coming from sewage works. 

Compared with a number of river basins across the world, only the Tokyo basin carries more PFOA per square kilometre of land. For PFOS, the Mersey catchment is the third worst, after the Tokyo basin and Cape Fear in the US. The discovery was made by hydrologist Dr Patrick Byrne from Liverpool John Moores University, who monitored the Mersey for a year and calculated the forever chemical load travelling through the catchment.  

Watershed releases new documentary ‘TOXIC’

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Watershed has worked with the ENDS Report to produce a new film ‘TOXIC: Britain’s forever poisoned rivers and seas’. The film can be viewed at endsreport.com/toxic and reveals PFAS pollution hotspots across England, particularly in the Mersey and Wyre. Featuring Feargal Sharkey, Dame Natalie Bennett, Clare Cavers, Dr Patrick Byrne, Dr Tom Miller and Lizzie Carr, it tells the worrying story of widespread carcinogen contamination.

 

‘Forever chemical’ in English tap water samples carcinogenic, WHO rules

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PFAS found in hundreds of drinking water samples across England has been categorised as carcinogenic by the  World Health Organisation. The move will increase pressure on the UK government to take action on “forever chemicals”.

PFOA has been linked to cancer for some time but a growing body of evidence means it has now been upgraded to “category one”, which means it is “carcinogenic to humans”, according to the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

A recent report from the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) shows that approximately 12,000 samples taken from drinking water sources contain at least one PFAS of some kind.

 

‘Forever chemicals’ found in drinking water sources across England

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Potentially toxic “forever chemicals” have been detected in the drinking water sources at 17 of 18 England’s water companies, with 11,853 samples testing positive, something experts say they are “extremely alarmed” by.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – a group of 10,000 or so human-made chemicals widely used in industrial processes, firefighting foams and consumer products – were found in samples of raw and treated water tested by water companies last year, according to the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), the Guardian and Watershed Investigations has found.

Scientific paper based on the Forever Pollution Project

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A scientific paper based on the Forever Pollution Project on PFAS was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters. A researcher said: “We used the data to study the relationships between PFAS soil concentrations and point sources. An AI-driven predictive model was developed that enabled us to generate a map of PFAS soil concentration over the entire European soils. The map provides important insights (or better to say, warnings!) into the scale of PFAS contamination in soils in Europe, and we discuss the implications in relation to seepage water concentrations as well.”

Scientists call on ministers to cut limits for ‘forever chemicals’ in UK tap water

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Acceptable levels of “forever chemicals” in drinking water should be reduced tenfold and a new national chemicals agency created to protect public health, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has told the UK government.

The RSC has produced a map using data published in the Guardian with Watershed Investigations in February, revealing that a “third of the watercourses tested contain medium- or high-risk levels of PFAS, according to the DWI’s own classification system”.

What you need to know about PFAS

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Internazionale Magazine, the global current affairs weekly, picks up Watershed’s PFAS work from the Forever Pollution Project. The article look at the most common sources of exposure to the potential consequences for human health and the environment.

Firm releases almost 800kg of ‘forever chemical’ a year into Lancashire river

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Exclusive: A chemicals company is releasing large quantities of a PFAS “forever chemical” described as being “very persistent, mobile and toxic” into the River Wyre in Lancashire each year, and is not breaking any rules.

Watershed - Investigative Journalism