A recent study has revealed that hundreds of different animal species, ranging from ticks to whales, have blood that is contaminated with toxic PFAS.
While the study does not show how PFAS are impacting wildlife, some of the previous research studies have given convincing evidence that these substances may likely be causing harm to animals.
According to the study which was conducted by The Environmental Working Group (EWG), Forever chemicals were found in more than 330 species such as scorpions, pandas, Siberian tigers, turtles, horses, dogs, plankton, sea lions, wild boar, otters, oysters and many more.
David Andrews, a senior scientist of the study said “It has taken six decades of research on humans to understand how these chemicals impact our biology in so many different ways … and there’s no reason to believe those same impacts are not also occurring in wildlife”
Forever chemicals, also known as PFAS (per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances), are a group of man-made chemicals that have been linked to a wide range of health and environmental issues.
While the EU is about to ban PFAS, These chemicals are found in everyday items such as food packaging, furniture, carpets, cookware, and clothing.
They are called ‘forever’ chemicals due to their ability to remain in the environment for long periods of time.
This ability of PFAS enables them to travel through the atmosphere and circle the globe.
This means that even wildlife animals that are far away from industrialized regions, e.g penguins or polar bears in the Arctic, can still be exposed to high levels of this contaminant.
Due to the lack of research on wildlife, it has been difficult to gain insights until recently when the EWG analysis was able to aggregate it.
Scientists have identified around 120 different PFAS compounds in animal blood, however, the actual number could be higher as current testing methods make it difficult to detect many of the chemicals.
The full effects of PFAS on animal health remain unclear, however, a recent study by North Carolina researchers has discovered autoimmune diseases like lupus in alligators living in water contaminated with this chemical near a Chemours facility.
There were also reports of immune system issues in north Pacific sea turtles.
Unfortunately, these chemicals have been linked to a variety of health problems for humans including cancer and hormone disruption.
According to federal data, the majority of people in America have forever chemicals in their blood which is a result of contamination.