POPs in the news

24/05/2021 -

The young killer whale (Orcinus orca) was one of eight deceased orcas that researchers in Norway examined. Of these, seven (including the calf) had levels of the banned flame retardant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) that were high enough to cause health problems in the animals, the researchers found. And all had lower levels of some newer pollutants of which little is known and haven't yet been banned. More:

Contaminants in Killer Whales Effect of toxic chemicals on cetaceans

Dead baby orca reveals harmful chemical levels in killer whales

The young killer whale (Orcinus orca) was one of eight deceased orcas that researchers in Norway examined. Of these, seven (including the calf) had levels of the banned flame retardant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) that were high enough to cause health problems in the animals, the researchers found. And all had lower levels of some newer pollutants of which little is known and haven't yet been banned. More:

Contaminants in Killer Whales Effect of toxic chemicals on cetaceans
21/05/2021 -

The study, which was carried out by Czech NGO Arnika, together with the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), CHEM Trust, and six other European NGOs, found that PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) continue to be widely used in disposable food packaging and tableware in Europe. More:


Harmful ‘forever’ chemicals widespread in EU fast food packaging, warns new report

The study, which was carried out by Czech NGO Arnika, together with the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), CHEM Trust, and six other European NGOs, found that PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) continue to be widely used in disposable food packaging and tableware in Europe. More:

20/05/2021 -

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances – PFAS – are a family of around 5,000 different chemicals. They are widely used in industry and manufacturing to make non-stick and grease-repellent products, such as waterproof jackets, non-stick cookware, takeaway food packaging, fire-fighting foam and stain-repellent fabrics. More:


Fast food packaging from McDonald’s and Subway “intentionally treated” with harmful chemicals, study finds

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances – PFAS – are a family of around 5,000 different chemicals. They are widely used in industry and manufacturing to make non-stick and grease-repellent products, such as waterproof jackets, non-stick cookware, takeaway food packaging, fire-fighting foam and stain-repellent fabrics. More:

13/05/2021 -

A new study that checked American women’s breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water. More:


Study finds alarming levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in US mothers’ breast milk

A new study that checked American women’s breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water. More:

Chemical giants hid dangers of ‘forever chemicals’ in food packaging

10/05/2021 -

A chemical partially banned by the NSW government in firefighting has been found in the pups of endangered Australian sea lions and in Australian fur seals. The finding represents another possible blow to Australian sea lions' survival. Hookworm and tuberculosis already threaten their small and diminishing population, which has fallen by more than 60 percent over four decades. More:


Firefighting chemical found in sea lion and fur seal pups

A chemical partially banned by the NSW government in firefighting has been found in the pups of endangered Australian sea lions and in Australian fur seals. The finding represents another possible blow to Australian sea lions' survival. Hookworm and tuberculosis already threaten their small and diminishing population, which has fallen by more than 60 percent over four decades. More:

10/05/2021 -

A study of pets who live near Chemours plant in Fayetteville found that the animals have much higher concentrations of PFAS in their blood than is considered safe by the EPA, which is 70 parts per trillion (ppt). N.C. State researchers tested for PFAS in 31 dogs and 35 horses living near the chemical plant. They found at least one measurable type of PFAS in every dog tested and all but one horse. More:

PFAS in aquatic wildlife PFAS Human exposure and health effects Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS

These pets have high levels of forever chemicals in their blood. Has that made them sick?

A study of pets who live near Chemours plant in Fayetteville found that the animals have much higher concentrations of PFAS in their blood than is considered safe by the EPA, which is 70 parts per trillion (ppt). N.C. State researchers tested for PFAS in 31 dogs and 35 horses living near the chemical plant. They found at least one measurable type of PFAS in every dog tested and all but one horse. More:

PFAS in aquatic wildlife PFAS Human exposure and health effects Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS
04/05/2021 -

New research shows the harm to wildlife is due to a wide range of factors that is not generally considered in toxicology testing – the plastics’ size, shape and chemical makeup. In particular, it shows larval fathead minnows exposed to microplastics collected from Lake Ontario developed almost six times more deformities compared to when they were exposed ‘pristine’ pre-consumer microplastics. More:

Microplastics in US waterways

Chemical Impact: Microplastic pollution more complex than we think, says new research

New research shows the harm to wildlife is due to a wide range of factors that is not generally considered in toxicology testing – the plastics’ size, shape and chemical makeup. In particular, it shows larval fathead minnows exposed to microplastics collected from Lake Ontario developed almost six times more deformities compared to when they were exposed ‘pristine’ pre-consumer microplastics. More:

Microplastics in US waterways
04/05/2021 -

Scientists have developed an extension to an ordinary cellphone that turns it into an instrument capable of detecting chemicals, drugs, biological molecules, and pathogens. The advance is reported in Reviews of Scientific Instruments. More:


Cellphone converts into powerful chemical detector

Scientists have developed an extension to an ordinary cellphone that turns it into an instrument capable of detecting chemicals, drugs, biological molecules, and pathogens. The advance is reported in Reviews of Scientific Instruments. More:

04/05/2021 -

The legislation, S.20, would restrict PFAS chemicals — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl — in four main areas: fire-extinguishing foam, food packaging, rugs and carpets, and ski wax. It also includes restrictions of phthalates and bisphenols, which are commonly used in plastic products. More:


House unanimously approves ban on toxic PFAS chemicals in consumer products

The legislation, S.20, would restrict PFAS chemicals — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl — in four main areas: fire-extinguishing foam, food packaging, rugs and carpets, and ski wax. It also includes restrictions of phthalates and bisphenols, which are commonly used in plastic products. More:

03/05/2021 -

Weak rules and poor implementation: this is why the EU is failing to curb pollution from the chemical industry, according to a new report by the European Environmental Bureau. More:


Wasted ink on waste water?

Weak rules and poor implementation: this is why the EU is failing to curb pollution from the chemical industry, according to a new report by the European Environmental Bureau. More:

28/04/2021 -

We still don’t know the true impact of these microplastics on human health. But the good news is, having hard floors, using more natural fibres in clothing, furnishings and homewares, along with vacuuming at least weekly can reduce your exposure. More:

Interactions between microplastics and organic pollutants Human Exposure to microplastics Environmental Transport of microplastics (remote and inaccessible locations)

We’re all ingesting microplastics at home, and these might be toxic for our health. Here are some tips to reduce your risk

We still don’t know the true impact of these microplastics on human health. But the good news is, having hard floors, using more natural fibres in clothing, furnishings and homewares, along with vacuuming at least weekly can reduce your exposure. More:

Interactions between microplastics and organic pollutants Human Exposure to microplastics Environmental Transport of microplastics (remote and inaccessible locations)
26/04/2021 -

When the research vessel Sally Ride set sail for Santa Catalina Island to map an underwater graveyard of DDT waste barrels, its crew had high hopes of documenting for the first time just how many corroded containers littered the seafloor off the coast of Los Angeles. But as the scientists on deck began interpreting sonar images gathered by two deep-sea robots, they were quickly overwhelmed. It was like trying to count stars in the Milky Way. More:

DDT Marine Dumping DDT Dumping Impact on Sealife

Stunning DDT dump site off L.A. coast much bigger than scientists expected

When the research vessel Sally Ride set sail for Santa Catalina Island to map an underwater graveyard of DDT waste barrels, its crew had high hopes of documenting for the first time just how many corroded containers littered the seafloor off the coast of Los Angeles. But as the scientists on deck began interpreting sonar images gathered by two deep-sea robots, they were quickly overwhelmed. It was like trying to count stars in the Milky Way. More:

DDT Marine Dumping DDT Dumping Impact on Sealife
24/04/2021 -

Seven years ago, a kindergarten teacher at P.S. 290 in Manhattan was following her students’ curiosity about the origins of food when she led them in a role play on how toxic pesticides harm people, ecosystems and even — to the 5-year-olds’ horror — turtles like their class pet, Soccer Ball. More:


N.Y.C. Bans Pesticides in Parks With Push From Unlikely Force: Children

Seven years ago, a kindergarten teacher at P.S. 290 in Manhattan was following her students’ curiosity about the origins of food when she led them in a role play on how toxic pesticides harm people, ecosystems and even — to the 5-year-olds’ horror — turtles like their class pet, Soccer Ball. More:

20/04/2021 -

As the impact of our species on the natural world intensifies, so does the knowledge of our dependency on it: from crop-pollinating critters and wild fish populations that nourish millions, to ecosystems that inhale carbon emissions and filter air and water. These connections have bolstered a legal argument around the importance of a healthy environment. More:

Environment and Nature's Rights

A healthy environment as a human right

As the impact of our species on the natural world intensifies, so does the knowledge of our dependency on it: from crop-pollinating critters and wild fish populations that nourish millions, to ecosystems that inhale carbon emissions and filter air and water. These connections have bolstered a legal argument around the importance of a healthy environment. More:

Environment and Nature's Rights
19/04/2021 -

The report found that receipts and food packaging used by several leading Canadian grocers and foodservice companies could contain bisphenols, phthalates, PFAS, and other harmful chemicals. More:


Why American food wrappers are less toxic than Canadian

The report found that receipts and food packaging used by several leading Canadian grocers and foodservice companies could contain bisphenols, phthalates, PFAS, and other harmful chemicals. More:

16/04/2021 -

Paper straws broke down in drinks really quickly. But then the biodegradable market—plant- and paper-based straws—expanded, giving people more structurally sound plastic straw replacement options. People could dip them in a drink without having to pull out a soggy clump of paper. Oftentimes, companies will coat permeable products in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). More:

EU strategies to address PFAS

‘Forever chemicals’ coat the outer layers of biodegradable straws

Paper straws broke down in drinks really quickly. But then the biodegradable market—plant- and paper-based straws—expanded, giving people more structurally sound plastic straw replacement options. People could dip them in a drink without having to pull out a soggy clump of paper. Oftentimes, companies will coat permeable products in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). More:

EU strategies to address PFAS
14/04/2021 -

Indoor dust contains dangerous, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, according to a study. The study of 46 dust samples from 21 buildings at a U.S. university found that all 46 samples contained hormonally active compounds that can lead to health effects, including infertility, diabetes, obesity, abnormal fetal growth, and cancers. More:

Human exposure and health effects of PFAS Human health effects of organophosphate esters (PBDEs substitute) Restricting use of PFAS and other toxic chemicals in furniture and consumer products

Indoor Dust Contains PFAS and Other Toxic Chemicals

Indoor dust contains dangerous, endocrine-disrupting chemicals, according to a study. The study of 46 dust samples from 21 buildings at a U.S. university found that all 46 samples contained hormonally active compounds that can lead to health effects, including infertility, diabetes, obesity, abnormal fetal growth, and cancers. More:

Human exposure and health effects of PFAS Human health effects of organophosphate esters (PBDEs substitutes) Restricting use of PFAS and other toxic chemicals in furniture and consumer products
06/04/2021 -

Rainwater collected in the Ohio-Indiana region contains both new and phased-out per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to research. Rainwater samples also contained high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is no longer made in the US. The continued presence of PFOA is likely explained by its ability to persist in the environment over the long term. They also found high levels of PFOA’s replacement, hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA). More:

Air Transport of PFAS pollution

US rainwater contains new and phased out PFAS

Rainwater collected in the Ohio-Indiana region contains both new and phased-out per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to research. Rainwater samples also contained high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is no longer made in the US. The continued presence of PFOA is likely explained by its ability to persist in the environment over the long term. They also found high levels of PFOA’s replacement, hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA). More:

Air Transport of PFAS pollution
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