Researchers identify toilet paper as a source of PFAS contamination environment

The researchers point out that treated wastewater eventually ends up back into the environment. That’s why, according to them, it’s important to know which PFAS they contain and how to keep those concentrations as low as possible.

PFAS stands for poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances. It is clear that a number of these substances are harmful to health and the environment in excess of a certain amount, while other harms are suspected. It is also not degraded or degraded in the environment. PFAS is, among other things, dirt repellent and has many applications. The substance can be found in cosmetics, non-stick coatings and raincoats, for example. And apparently also in toilet paper.

For the study, samples of toilet paper and sewage sludge were screened for 34 types of PFAS. The researchers found a total of six such substances. The most common was 6:2 diPAP. Scientists believe the concentrations were very low, on the order of a few parts out of the billions of samples examined, but because toilet paper is so widely used, it can still lead to a significant amount of PFAS contamination. They have published their findings in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

The study does not contain data for Belgium, but it is known that there is a very high concentration of PFAS in Flanders, as shown on this map.

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Denton Watson

"Friend of animals everywhere. Evil twitter fan. Pop culture evangelist. Introvert."

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