June 17, 2024
Graphical abstract.

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Graphical abstract.


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Credit: Eco-Environment & Health

PFAS, commonly known as “forever chemicals,” are a group of man-made substances that have been used in various industries since the 1940s due to their resistance to heat, water, and oil.These chemicals are found in products like non-stick cookware, waterproof fabrics, firefighting foams, and food packaging.Their persistence in the environment and their ability to accumulate in human and animal tissue make them a concern for potential adverse health impacts. Despite their widespread use, the knowledge about pose potential risks to drinking water quality,  especially in Germany, has been limited.

In a landmark study ( published in “Eco-Environment & Health” (Volume 2, 2023), researchers screened German drinking water for 26 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This effort, notably supported by residents, marks a significant step in understanding PFAS presence in drinking water.

The study involved collecting 89 drinking water samples from various locations in Germany, analyzing them for 26 different PFAS using high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). The findings revealed that while the 20 recently regulated PFAS were below the detection limit, the sum concentrations varied widely, with some samples exceeding the threshold for certain PFAS.

This research is pivotal in informing future regulatory decisions and public health guidelines. It highlights the need for ongoing surveillance and stricter controls on PFAS in drinking water.

Dr. Aki Sebastian Ruhl, emphasizes the importance of this study in providing a comprehensive view of PFAS distribution in drinking water across Germany, a crucial aspect in evaluating environmental and health risks.

The collaborative effort in this study has provided valuable insights into PFAS levels in German drinking water, laying the groundwork for future environmental and public health initiatives, and underscores the necessity for further research to understand the long-term implications of PFAS in drinking water and to develop more efficient removal methods.

The collaborative effort in this study has provided valuable insights into PFAS levels in German drinking water, laying the groundwork for future environmental and public health initiatives, and underscores the necessity for further research to understand the long-term implications of PFAS in drinking water and to develop more efficient removal methods.

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References

DOI

10.1016/j.eehl.2023.08.004

Original Source URL

Funding information

The project Spu-TriDa was funded by the German Ministry of Health.

About Eco-Environment & Health

Eco-Environment & Health (EEH) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal designed for publications on the frontiers of the ecology, environment and health as well as their related disciplines. EEH focuses on the concept of “One Health” to promote green and sustainable development, dealing with the interactions among ecology, environment and health, and the underlying mechanisms and interventions. Our mission is to be one of the most important flagship journals in the field of environmental health.


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