New Map Shows Czech Sites Contaminated by PFAS Chemicals
Over 17,000 sites in Europe are contaminated by the so-called “forever chemicals” PFAS, an exclusive, months-long investigation conducted by 18 European newsrooms reveals. Photo: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.
Paris/Prague, Feb 23 (CTK) – The European map of more than 17,000 sites contaminated by the “forever chemicals” PFAS, which has been created by a group of European media including Czech daily Denik Referendum within the Forever Pollution Project, shows tens of sites in Czechia.
The per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of widely used, man-made chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment and human body an can lead to health problems such as cancer.
“There actually is no mechanism in nature that would break down these chemicals,” professor Tomas Cajthaml, from the Institute of Environmental Studies of Charles University Prague, told Denik Referendum.
The map also shows 20 chemical plants that produce PFAS for use in many fields and 232 factories that use the PFAS in some way, four of which are in Czechia.
Denik Referendum writes that universities deal with these chemicals in Czechia and also the Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation established by the Agriculture Ministry. This institute has been monitoring PFAS in sediments of sewage treatment plants. The daily says the contaminated sediments are a problem in Czechia because one third of them is used for fertilisation of arable land, and so the “forever chemicals” probably get even in foods.
Experts in public health say the only way to prevent the environment from being further contaminated is to completely ban the use of these chemicals. Denmark as the first EU country banned the use of PFAS in food packaging.
Media from 13 European countries took part in the project.