Read the full article by Helena Horton and Sandra Laville (The Guardian)

“The government is investigating and mapping out the sources of dangerous ‘forever chemicals’ present in our waterways.

But England will not meet its targets for waterways having good chemical status by 2027, the government admits, in part because of the PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in our rivers.

Officials admit there is no way for them to remove PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), some of which are classified as uPBT (ubiquitous, persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic) substances.

The chemicals do not break down in the environment, build up in the body and may be toxic. They form a family of about 10,000 chemicals valued for their non-stick and detergent properties.

High levels of PFAS in England’s waters mean that far from meeting good chemical status by 2027, in many areas standards for PFAS will not be met until 2063.

This week a big new mapping project has revealed that these chemicals have been found at high levels at thousands of sites across the UK and Europe.

In 2021 the Environment Agency admitted in a report: ‘Monitoring data for rivers, lakes, groundwater, estuaries and coastal waters suggests it is likely that PFAS is widely present in English surface waters and groundwater.’

Another document from the agency found: ‘PFOS is a widespread environmental contaminant. Our monitoring programme in surface waters has reported the presence of PFOS in all fish sampled from fresh, estuarine and coastal waters.

‘Measured concentrations in fish ranged from below the environmental quality standard (EQS) to up to four times greater than the biota EQS.’

The government has said that the UK will not meet the water framework directive target of all waterways meeting good chemical status by 2027, because of PFAS chemicals.”…