Read the full article by Gianna Melillo (The Hill)

“Detection of certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in U.S. drinking water has prompted action from regulatory and health agencies alike, given the harmful health effects associated with some of these chemicals.

The widespread proliferation and persistent nature of these chemicals also poses threats to the natural environment, and new research out of Lancaster University in England details rising levels of PFAS detected in remote Antartic regions.

PFAS do not naturally break down over time due to their strong carbon and fluorine bonds, earning them the nickname ‘forever chemicals.’ PFAS can be found in consumer products ranging from makeup to cookware, in addition to pollution from companies who use the chemicals to manufacture products.

Although regulations aimed at phasing out certain PFAS (PFOA and PFOS) in the United States went into effect in 2016, these actions did not address the large quantities of chemicals already in products sold before the ban or those imported from other countries. 

To better understand any changes in PFAS levels detected in the natural environment, investigators measured six perfluorocarboxylates (PFCA, C4–C9) from a site in Dronning Maud Land in Eastern Antarctica.” …