Study in Europe Find "Forever Chemicals" Are Widespread in Disposable Packaging
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Prague/Brussels/London A recent study by Arnika found PFAS in a huge percentage of food packaging materials and tableware in popular fast-food chains across Europe. In cooperation with six other NGOs including IPEN, the study found that 76% of the samples tested were intentionally treated with PFAS, which is a class of chemicals frequently used for their oil- and grease-repellent properties. Additionally, traces of PFAS were detected in all samples, which should not be surprising given how they do not break down easily and migrate into water and the enviroment, earning them their "forever chemicals" moniker. All of the materials tested were items intended for a single use, including items for which sustainable alternatives exist.
“It is high time for the European Union to act and immediately and permanently ban the entire class of PFAS in food packaging, to protect the consumers in the first place. It is clearly not essential to use highly toxic and persistent chemicals, posing such a serious health and environmental risk, in throw-away food packaging, especially when there are safer alternatives,” says Jitka Strakova, the main author of the study and Arnika/International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) science advisor.
This report is based on a European study, carried out by 8 civil society organizations, into the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in paper, board, and molded plant fiber disposable food packaging and tableware, sold in six European countries: The Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
Kathmandu, Nepal The World Wildlife Fund-WWF Nepal has awarded the ‘WWF Nepal Conservation Award 2020 to the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) for the latter’s efforts at biodiversity and environment conservation. The award was presented at a virtual award ceremony on Wednesday afternoon for CEPHED’s initiatives for eliminating POPs and Mercury from the country’s health sector.
En el planeta hay una tendencia a impulsar laresponsabilidad extendida del productoren el desecho de mercancías electrónicas, plásticos y aceites; de esta manera, la industria tiene la obligación de hacerse cargo de éstas cuando termina su vida útil. En cambio, en México sólo se plantean cambios legislativos para el caso de plásticos y se mantiene la corresponsabilidad con los ciudadanos en la generación de basura.
Quezon City, Philippines - An online gathering of over 100 people held in observance of the World Health Day today highlighted the dangers posed by a family of highly persistent chemicals dubbed as “forever chemicals” and the urgent need to protect the people and the environment from these synthetic substances.
Organized by the EcoWaste Coalition and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), the “D-Tox Webinar on Forever Chemicals” turned the spotlight on the hazards of PFAS (the acronym for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), a group of over 5,000 chemicals that has earned the moniker “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down easily and can stay in the environment indefinitely, build up in human bodies over time and bring about adverse health outcomes.
Resource persons Pamela Miller (Co-Chair of IPEN and Executive Director of the Alaska Community Action on Toxics) and Jeff Gearhart (Research Director of Healthy Stuff Lab and Ecology Center) led the discussion on PFAS and recommended actions to control and prevent exposure to these persistent chemicals.
Panel recommends many household chemicals and pesticides be exempt from scrutiny and agricultural chemicals’ approvals be fast-tracked
Saturday, 03 April 2021
(The Guardian, AUSTRALIA)
Environment and health groups have fiercely criticised proposals to relax the regulation of chemicals and pesticides in Australia, saying they are “totally at odds” with public health and safety expectations.
Calls for Identification and monitoring of source sites
Thursday, 14 January 2021
(Prague, Czech Republic) - The large group of perfluorinated chemicals, collectively known as PFAS and often called "Forever Chemicals" because they are not easily broken down, have been found nearly everywhere researchers have looked for them — but particularly in food, water supplies, and soils. Czech Republic NGO Arnika recently studied sources in and around Prague, and found PFAS, its related chemicals, and additionally brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in nearly every sample. The study, Forever Chemicals Round and Round, made clear that identifying and continually monitoring PFAS and BFR sources is vital for community health and environmental sustainability.
Although regulation of these chemicals is increasing, the categories of perfluorinated and brominated chemicals are large. So as one chemical is identified and listed for restriction, another is adopted for use, all without understanding the underlying health effects. Ironically, many of these substances have known, safe alternatives. In response to studies showing PFAS in blood samples of firefighters, airports have been moving to safer fire-fighting foams, replacing fluorinated forms, which constitute roughly one-third of known PFAS contamination and which have been found in water ways near airports, including in Arnika's recent study.
“Perfluorinated substances and brominated flame retardants are not essential for the majority of applications and there are already safer alternatives on the market today. Therefore, their production should stop immediately. We call on both manufacturers and legislators to restrict the use of these toxic substances for all non-essential purposes. The deterioration in the quality of drinking water and the global environmental contamination caused by PFAS are irreversible,” says Jitka Strakova from Arnika.