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Facts about PFAS

PFAS is a group of highly fluorinated substances used in many consumer products due to its ability to repel water, dirt and grease. But, they degrade very slowly or not at all in nature, and therfore pose a great environmental and health risk.

 

PFAS stands for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances and is a group of about 4,500 different highly fluorinated. man-made chemicals . PFAS is currently used in many consumer goods and chemical products because of their unique and versatile function. They are, for example, water and dirt repellent and are used as surface treatment in clothing, shoes and food packaging but also in fire fighting foam, ski wax, beauty products, furniture fabrics and Electronics.

Threat to environment and health

Many of these highly fluorinated substances have been shown to have major consequences for both the environment and human health. PFASs are very mobile and they are persistent, which leads to PFAS contamination can spread over large areas and they do not degrade in nature, or it takes a long time before they degrade.

Humans are daily exposed to PFAS by what we eat, through the water we drink and the air we breathe. PFAS binds to protein and is stored in the liver and found in our blood. Animal studies have shown that some PFAS can cause cancer, can lead to reproductive problems and can affect our immune system.

Political pressure and goodwill of companies

Both in Europe and globally, the political ambition is to work with legal instruments to phase out the use of PFAS. It is a difficult job because, it is a group of 4,500 subjects and new ones it is constantly being added, but work on banning substances is taking place within the EU. In order for phasing out of PFAS, it is important that the authorities and companies work together.