The map of chemical pollutants that do not decompose in the environment shows severe pollution in Western Europe, but also that Romania is the least affected EU country by this type of contamination.
Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) represent a family of approximately 10,000 chemical compounds that are indestructible and non-adherent in the natural environment. They are used in a wide range of consumer products (including water-resistant clothing, cosmetics, electronics, and packaging), but after use, if not recycled, they end up in the air, water, or soil.
The study, conducted following an investigation by several Western European publications and NGOs, highlighted that pollution with these substances is much lower in Eastern Europe than in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and especially Belgium and the Netherlands, according to Biziday.
The map accompanying the study shows that Belgium has the highest levels of pollution recorded, and PFAS substances have been found in groundwater in high concentrations. For example, people living within a radius of 15 kilometers around a factory where a high concentration of these substances was identified were advised not to consume any vegetables or even animal products (such as chicken eggs) produced in the area.
The same map seems to indicate that Romania is the least affected country in the EU by this type of pollution A few points of PFA pollution have been identified in Romania as well, in the area of Galati, in Mehedinți (Porțile de Fier II), in Sibiu county (at the entrance to the Olt Valley), and in the north of Argeș county.
The study also shows that sources of drinking water can be contaminated with PFAS, but water companies claim that the chemicals do not reach the tap in the end because the water is treated to dilute or eliminate such substances. Two types of PFAS have been associated with various diseases such as kidney cancer, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol.
(Photo source: Ivan Tsyrkunovich | Dreamstime.com)