Eating one freshwater fish caught in a river or lake in the United States is the equivalent of drinking a month’s worth of water contaminated with toxic “forever chemicals”, new research said on Tuesday.
The invisible chemicals called PFAS were first developed in the 1940s to resist water and heat, and are now used in items such as non-stick pans, textiles, fire suppression foams and food packaging.
But the indestructibility of PFAS, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, means the pollutants have built up over time in the air, soil, lakes, rivers, food, drinking water and even our bodies.
There have been growing calls for stricter regulation for PFAS, which have been linked to a range of serious health issues including liver damage, high cholesterol, reduced immune responses and several kinds of cancer.
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