Research, Technology

What are "eternal chemicals" and what animals can disappear because of them

Beginning in 1940 and throughout most ofIn the 20th century, chemicals were actively used in industry, which are known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This class of synthetic substances includes 12,000 items and was previously widely used to impart consumer properties to goods. All things with the addition of PFAS are protected from fading, and are also not afraid of water and dirt. Due to these properties, they have been widely used in textiles, food packaging, building materials, furniture, utensils and so on. However, today humanity is trying to completely abandon them - it turned out that they cannot be split naturally, and when they enter the human body, they cause deadly diseases. Recently, it has been found that even wild animals are infected with chemicals. It seems that something terrible is happening right now, but we don’t even notice it.

Scientists have found that the bodies of many animals contain "eternal chemicals" that cause deadly diseases

How timeless chemicals enter organisms

Due to the fact that substances of the PFAS class haveartificial origin and do not break down naturally, they are also called "eternal chemicals". For many years, people produced them in huge quantities, and only then began to guess that they get inside living organisms, accumulate and cause deadly diseases.

The eternal PFAS chemicals have a huge variety of distribution routes

There are many ways in which the eternalchemicals enter the body. For example, exhaust air from industrial sources is often saturated with hazardous substances - thus, they settle in large quantities on the ground and water bodies. Air masses can spread them over long distances. Scientists were horrified to discover PFAS even in the Bering Sea and the Arctic, which are located very far from industrial cities.

Scientists have discovered PFAS even in the Arctic

The chemicals are found in the ground and water, whichanimals are in constant contact. Consequently, all kinds of animals also become infected with them. A person eats the meat of many of them, and also loves fish and a variety of seafood. By eating them, we again let dangerous PFAS into our body. It may seem that our planet is littered with eternal chemicals - it is possible that it is so. Scientists are increasingly finding evidence for this.

The PFAS content is one of the main reasons why you shouldn't drink rainwater. My colleague Andrei Zhukov spoke in detail about the dangers of rainwater in this article.

Which animals suffer from eternal chemicals

Recently, an American advocacy groupNature's Environmental Working Group (EWG) decided to find out how many animals in the world are infected with PFAS. According to The Guardian, to do this, they studied the results of all the research available to them on this topic and developed an interactive map that clearly shows how widely the blood of wild animals in different parts of the Earth is contaminated with eternal chemicals.

Interactive map of animal contamination by PFAS eternal chemicals

According to the interactive map, currentlyPFAS chemicals are found in ticks, scorpions, pandas, turtles, horses and a wide variety of other animal species. Even penguins living in Antarctica are infected with substances hazardous to health - this is another proof that chemicals can spread over long distances through the air. In total, the blood of animals contains about 120 varieties of eternal chemicals. But this is far from the most complete data - the map shows that the study did not take into account data on animals from Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Mongolia, Brazil, Japan and many other countries. The situation is clearly more serious than scientists say.

Eternal chemicals have even been found in the organisms of penguins that live far from factories and other industrial enterprises.

IMPORTANT: eternal chemicals can be released by Teflon pans. You can read about how to properly use Teflon cookware without harm to health in this article.

Eternal chemicals can cause the extinction of animals

That eternal chemicals are deadly forpeople, scientists already know very well. For example, in 2022, an article was published on our website that PFAS increased the risk of developing liver cancer by 4.5 times. This disease is difficult to treat, and people with this diagnosis rarely live more than 5 years after the announcement of the diagnosis. Particularly frightening is the fact that some amount of eternal chemicals are in the body of 98% of US residents. Probably, the situation in Russia is no better in this respect.

It is noteworthy that relatively recently it was found out that you can cleanse the body of eternal chemicals by becoming a blood donor. Here are the details.

A certain number of eternal chemicals are found in the body of almost every person.

PFAS chemicals cause severe disease inpeople, but how they affect the health of animals, scientists do not know exactly. But there are serious suspicions that even they develop deadly diseases. In 2022, North Carolina scientists found that alligators living near PFAS-producing factories have an autoimmune disease similar to lupus. Immune system problems have also been found in North Pacific sea turtles.

There is a suspicion that due to PFAS alligators develop a dangerous disease

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Based on this, it turns out that due toAnimals suffer more from human activities than previously thought. We already knew very well that they are dying out due to deforestation and environmental pollution with plastic waste. Now there is reason to believe that animals are suffering because of the eternal chemicals.