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On Earth, rainwater is everywhere undrinkable, study finds


Earth's rainwater is undrinkable due to the presence of toxic chemicals that exceed recommended levels, according to...

Earth's rainwater is undrinkable due to the presence of toxic chemicals that exceed recommended levels, according to a recent study by scientists from Stockholm University.


There is nowhere on Earth where rainwater would be safe to drink, according to the data we used

," Ian Cousins, a professor at Stockholm University and principal author of the study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

His team studied data compiled since 2010 and showed that "

even in Antarctica or on the Tibetan plateau, the levels present in rainwater are above the proposed guidelines of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. States (EPA)

,” he adds.

Normally considered pristine, both regions have PFAS levels (per and polyfluoroalkyl) “

14 times higher

” than US recommendations for

Read alsoChronic oil pollution in the seas

More commonly known as “

eternal chemicals

” because they disintegrate extremely slowly, PFAS, initially present in packaging, shampoos or even make-up, have spread into our environment, including water and 'air.

Once ingested, PFAS accumulate in the body.

According to some studies, exposure to PFAS can have effects on fertility and fetal development.

It can also lead to increased risks of obesity or certain cancers (prostate, kidneys and testicles) and an increase in cholesterol levels.

The EPA recently lowered the recommended PFAS threshold, after discovering that these chemicals could impact the immune response to vaccines in children,

The planet is “irreversibly contaminated”

According to Ian Cousins, PFAS are now “

so persistent

” and ubiquitous that they will never disappear from Earth.

We have made the planet inhospitable to human life by contaminating it irreversibly, which means that nothing is clean anymore.

And to the point that it's not clean enough to be sure

,” he says.


We have exceeded a planetary limit

," says Ian Cousins, referring to a model to assess the Earth's ability to absorb the impact of human activity.

Read alsoWater pollution: the World Bank alert

The scientist notes, however, that the levels of PFAS in the body of human beings have decreased "

quite significantly in the last 20 years

" and that "

the ambient level (of PFAS in the environment) has remained the same for the last 20 years


It is the recommendations that have changed

”, specifies the researcher, explaining that the recommended level of PFAS has been lowered “

millions of times since the beginning of the 2000s, because we know more about the toxicity of these substance


Despite the findings of the study, Ian Cousins ​​considers that we must learn to “

live with

it ”.


I'm not terribly worried about daily exposure to mountains, waterways, or food.

We can't escape it... we'll just have to live with it.


But it's not an ideal situation, where you've contaminated the environment to the point that natural exposure isn't really safe


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-08-10

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