Study Deems All Rainwater Undrinkable

A new study found that “forever chemicals” are not only present in water, but also in rainwater all over the world at levels deemed to be undrinkable.

Researchers from Stockholm University and ETH Zurich published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that “levels of PFOA and PFOS in rainwater often greatly exceed US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisory levels.”

The “forever chemicals” known as PFAS that are present in global rainwater are typically used in non-stick pans, firefighting foam and water-repellent clothes.

Scientists are concerned that PFAS could lead to numerous health risks, including cancer, although research has been inconclusive as of Tuesday’s (August 2) journal publication.

“Based on the four PFAAs considered here, it is concluded that in many areas inhabited by humans the planetary boundary for PFAS has been exceeded based on the levels in rainwater, surface water and soil, with all of these media being widely contaminated above recently proposed guideline levels,” the journal stated. “Although the global emissions of these 4 PFAAs have been reduced in recent years in most countries, these substances continue to remain in the environment due to their high persistence and will continually cycle in the hydrosphere.”

The researchers posted their supporting information for free here.

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