Swedish research says that rainwater is not suitable for drinking anywhere on the planet because rainfalls contain the “eternal” chemicals PFAS, which cause many health problems. Scientists have found these substances in remote places, including snowfall in Antarctica.
Rainwater Contains Eternal Chemicals
PFAS are man-made chemicals with non-stick or stain-repellent properties. These artificial substances are used for their properties in various industries. For example, we can find them in household items such as food packaging, electronics, cosmetics, or tableware.
Rainwater contains health-threatening amounts of these perennial chemicals almost everywhere on Earth, according to a new study. It seems there is no place one can avoid them anymore, including the far reaches of Antarctica.
New knowledge about the toxicity of perennial chemicals has led to a dramatic reduction in recommended safe values in drinking water:
“Based on the latest US guidelines for PFOA drinking water, rainwater everywhere would be rated unsafe to drink. Although rainwater is not commonly drunk in rich countries, many people around the world assume it is safe to drink,” said Cousins, lead author of the study and professor at Stockholm University’s Department of Environmental Sciences.
Eternal Chemicals Does Not Disappear
The Stockholm University team has been investigating the occurrence and transport of PFAS in the atmosphere for ten years. In a current study, researchers found that the amount of some harmful PFASs in the atmosphere is not decreasing significantly, even though significant manufacturers phased them out two decades ago.
In addition, they have properties that allow them to return to the natural water cycle. For example, research shows that even when they travel to the sea, they do not sink to the bottom but are returned to the sea air via aerosols.
FPAS chemicals have been linked to various serious health problems, including learning and behavioral problems in children, infertility and pregnancy complications, elevated cholesterol, immune system problems, and cancer.
Featured image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay