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Europa

Climate warning

Health: Stop the use of the entire PFAS chemical group in EU

Health: Forever chemicals PFAS detectable in many places. Berlin (dpa) - Widespread, long-lived, potentially toxic and not yet examined on a large scale: This is roughly how the so-called eternal chemicals PFAS could be described. The substances that are widely used by industry are currently the subject of intense debate because, according to a proposal, they are to be largely banned in the EU. According to estimates, this involves a total of more than 10,000 individual substances. PFAS detected at more than 1500 locations in Germany The extremely stable chemicals, which do not occur naturally, can accumulate in the environment, including in Germany. According to the Federal Environment Agency (Uba), many places contaminated with PFAS - which stands for per- and polyfluorinated alkyl compounds - are still unknown. "What we're seeing is probably the tip of the iceberg," said Uba President Dirk Messner in a response to the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" ("SZ"), which was available to the German Press Agency. According to research published by "SZ", NDR and WDR, PFAS can be detected at more than 1,500 locations in Germany. Messner spoke of an "important contribution to further assembling the mosaic". Some PFAS find their way into rivers, lakes and seas via sewage treatment plants. Last year, a study showed that PFAS can be detected in rainwater even in the most remote regions of the world. "With the absorption of PFAS from contaminated soil and water in plants and the accumulation in fish, these substances are also absorbed into the human food chain," writes the Uba. Humans can also ingest PFAS through the air and drinking water. Due to their special properties - the fabrics are, among other things, very stable and oil- and water-repellent - they are widely used. They are found in everyday objects such as anoraks, pans and cosmetics, but are also part of industrial processes and technical applications. "Medium to high toxicity" Some PFAS are already largely banned because they are considered dangerous. "Of the relatively few well-studied PFAS, most are considered to be moderately to highly toxic, particularly to child development," writes the European Environment Agency (EEA). Authorities in several countries, including Germany, are aiming for a largely complete ban on the substance group in the EU. This is a kind of precautionary measure. The thought behind this: If some of the substances are proven to be harmful, many other representatives of the substance group could also be. From the point of view of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), a complete ban would go too far, since many applications that pose no risk at all would then be prohibited. "I assume that the effects of the restriction would be significant for many branches of industry," said Mirjam Merz, an expert on chemicals policy and hazardous substances law at the BDI, the dpa. If the authorities' application fulfills all the formalities, public consultations are scheduled to start on March 22nd. Industry representatives, for example, can campaign for exceptions. The final decision is made by the European Commission together with the EU member states. A decision is expected in 2025. https://www.sueddeutsche.de/gesundheit/gesundheit-ewigkeitschemikalien-pfas-vielerorts-nachweisbar-dpa.urn-newsml-dpa-com-20090101-230223-99-707000

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  • We Don't Have Time

    64 w

    Dear Patrik Lobergh Thank you for getting your climate warning to level 2! We have reached out to European Commission and asked for a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! /Adam We Don't Have Time

    2
    • Grace Njeri

      64 w

      This is a a concern because they: do not break down in the environment, can move through soils and contaminate drinking water sources, build up (bioaccumulate) in fish and wildlife.

      9
      • rosebellendiritu

        64 w

        @grace_njeri_804 it's quite a health and environmental hazard

        1
      • Rashid Kamau

        64 w

        A recent review from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines a host of health effects associated with PFAS exposure, including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

        2
        • rosebellendiritu

          64 w

          @rashid_kamau so much health risks

          1
        • Ajema Lydiah

          64 w

          they should know their mistakes and rectify

          6
          • Andreas Kōhler

            64 w

            I assume that it is not Uba but UBA, with stands for Umweltbundesamt. Uba sounds more line a chewing gum.

            • Munene Mugambi

              64 w

              I hope the European Union adheres to this warning and does the necessary

              9
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