A recent study published in Environment Science and Technology has found that rainwater from many places across the globe is contaminated with “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” (PFAs), which are called “forever chemicals” because of their tendency to stick around in the atmosphere, rainwater and soil for long periods of time.
- PFAs are man-made chemicals used to make non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics, cosmetics, firefighting forms and many other products that resist grease, water and oil.
- PFAs can migrate to the soil, water and air during their production and use.
- Since most PFAs do not break down, they remain in the environment for long periods of time.
- Some of these PFAs can build up in people and animals if they are repeatedly exposed to the chemicals.
- Variety of health risks are attributed to PFA exposure including decreased fertility, developmental effects in children, interference with body hormones, increased cholesterol levels and increased risk of some cancers.