EEA | PFAS pollution is widespread in Europe

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The EEA briefing ‘Emerging chemical risks in Europe — PFAS’ presents an overview of the known and potential risks to human health and the environment in Europe posed by per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). These extremely persistent and man-made chemicals are used in a variety of consumer products and industrial applications because of their unique properties, for example, to increase oil and water repellence, reduce surface tension, or resist high temperatures and chemicals. Currently more than 4 700 different PFAS exist, which, due to their extreme persistence, accumulate in people and the environment.

Although there is a lack of systematic mapping and monitoring of potentially polluted sites in Europe, national monitoring activities have detected PFAS in the environment across Europe, and the production and use of PFAS have also resulted in the contamination of drinking water supplies in several European countries. Human biomonitoring has also detected a range of PFAS in the blood of European citizens.



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