PFAS – Today's worst environmental hazard?

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PFAS – worse than PCB and DDT?

PFAS is the collective name of a large group of perfluorinated (highly fluorinated) substances, some of which are extremely hard to degrade, bioaccumulative and toxic, and that we all (> 98% of the adult population) unfortunately have in our blood today - we did not have that before.

PFAS potentially has serious health risks and may be carcinogenic, cause liver damage, affect reproduction, affect the immune system, cause hormone changes, etc.

PFAS is spreading to the environment by many products we use in our everyday lives, such as fluorocarbon non-stick coatings (Teflon).

PFAS is today everywhere in the environment, even in the food we eat and the water we drink. The substances are spread through products invented by humans, which are very popular because they repel water, dirt and grease.

The Madrid Declaration of 2015 which requires a stop for all types of PFAS has been signed by more than 200 leading researchers in the field from 38 countries.

The EU Commission, in its latest research summary, calls for a phase-out of PFAS. Legislation is a slow tool so you and I must act and lead the way, to save our health and the environment.

You can reduce the spread of PFAS by choosing silicone instead of fluoroplastics (Teflon).

Spreading of PFAS to the envvironment

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 Although the spreading of PFAS is not large during the use of the baking tray or baking tin in the bakery, the total spread during the life of the substances is considerable. When recoating or scrapping, 100% of the remaining PFAS goes to the environment.

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Presidential candidate wants ban on all PFAS chemicals

Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand (D) called for all PFAS chemicals to be banned during a stop in Portsmouth on 15th March 2019.

“I think we have to ban the entire class of chemicals because they will be determined ... as carcinogens,” Gillibrand said during an event to talk about water contamination issues.

She added PFAS contamination is “an issue that’s crippling communities across the country.”

“It’s something the EPA must take seriously,” she said. “Our responsibility is to protect people, our number one responsibility”.


The Madrid Declaration on PFAS

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What do 200 researchers and scientists say about PFAS?

  • Stop using PFAS where they are not essential or when safer alternatives exist.
  • As scientists and other professionals from a variety of disciplines, we are concerned about the production and release into the environment of an increasing number PFAS.
  • PFAS are found in the indoor and outdoor environments, wildlife, and human tissue and bodily fluids all over the globe.
  • In animal studies, some long-chain PFAS have been found to cause liver toxicity, disruption of the immune system and tumors in multiple organ systems.
  • Although some of the long-chain PFAS are being phased out, the most common replacements are short-chain PFAS with similar structures.
  • Increasing use of fluorinated alternatives will lead to increasing levels of stable perfluorinated degradation products in the environment, and possibly also in biota and humans.
  • We call on the international community to cooperate in limiting the production and use of PFAS.

What does the swedish EPA say about PFAS?

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Source: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

PFAS is a collective name for approximately 5000 industrially produced chemicals.

PFAS (perfluorinated and polyfluorinated substances), or highly fluorinated substances as they are also called, have been used in a large number of products since the 1950s.

PFAS are widely distributed in the environment, extremely persistent and some are toxic.

PFAS are a group of organic substances, which are characterized by being completely fluorinated, ie. they contain a carbon chain where each hydrogen atom is replaced by a fluorine atom. The chemical bond between carbon and fluorine is one of the strongest available.

In the industry, they are used in the manufacture of fluoropolymers that are used as nonstick coatings of frying pans and baking trays.

In pace with the development of better analytical methods for PFAS substances, its widespread dispersion in the environment and to man has become increasingly recognized.

The large use means that emissions to the environment will be large. The stable properties and long life of PFAS substances are an important factor since leakage and spread can occur during the entire lifetime of the substances - from production, during use and after use from, for example, destruction and landfills.

Different PFAS have different routes. Many perfluorinated substances are spread via water and in aquatic environments, while the polyfluorinated substances are more volatile and more often spread through the air.

More information

Here are links to articles about PFAS.

Choose silicone

You can reduce the spread of PFAS by choosing silicone instead of fluoroplastics (Teflon).

A good quality silicone coating is usually the most cost effective option.

Read more about the alternatives

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