illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:
🗞️ Driving the news: The presence of "forever chemicals" (PFAS) in various environmental mediums, including drinking water, has raised significant concerns due to their link to cancers, birth defects, and immune system issues
• Efforts are increasing globally to detect, remove, and destroy these chemicals, which are challenging and costly to eliminate due to their persistence and low concentration levels
🔭 The context: PFAS are used in a wide range of products for their waterproofing properties but are difficult to break down, leading to their nickname "forever chemicals"
• These substances have been found globally in environments and human blood, prompting a reevaluation of their use and the development of technologies to treat their contamination
• Different countries have varying guidelines and limits for PFAS concentration in drinking water
🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The widespread presence of PFAS in the environment and their potential health hazards underscore the importance of developing effective solutions for their removal and destruction
⏭️ What's next: Researchers and industries are exploring various technologies for treating PFAS contamination, including nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, activated carbon filtration, and advanced coagulation methods
• There is also ongoing research into novel techniques like sonolysis for degrading PFAS.
💬 One quote: “One of the most alarming things for me is that in order to find a blood sample that does not have PFAS in it, one study had to get blood from [1948-1951 American] Korean war soldiers” (Dr. Madeleine Bussemaker, University of Surrey)
📈 One stat: In the UK, the guideline for PFAS in drinking water is 100 nanograms per liter, while in the Netherlands it is advised to be a maximum of 4.4ng/l, highlighting the variance in regulatory approaches to managing PFAS levels
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