EU agency highlights scale of PFAS contamination in Europe

Regulators are struggling to keep up with the sheer number of chemicals in a group used in everything from non-stick coatings to pesticides and cosmetics that has widely contaminated Europe’s soil and water bodies, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has warned.

In a new briefing, the EEA warns that while the full environmental impact of per and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), a group of more than 4,700 chemicals, remains unknown, it is estimated to cost at least €52-84bn in health-related problems alone each year in Europe.

The substances are used across a range of industrial and consumer products, entering the environment through fire-fighting foam, wastewater and sewage sludge applied to fields, among other sources. 

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