New treatment breaks down toxic PFAS 'forever chemicals' in hours

  • Source: New Atlas
  • Published: 05/23/2022 12:00 AM

Earning themselves the moniker of "forever chemicals" due to their ability to persist for a long time in the environment, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are increasingly being shown to pose serious risks to human health. In light of this improved awareness scientists are ramping up their efforts to better break them down before they can cause harm, and a new breakthrough demonstrates how it might be done in a matter of hours using UV light. PFAS are a group of chemicals consisting of more than 4,000 compounds that feature in everything from waterproof clothing and nonstick cookware, to food packaging and firefighting foams. In widespread use since the 1940s, studies have linked use of the chemicals to a wide range of health conditions, including cancers and impaired immune system function.


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