PFAS-coated clothes that are thrown away will often end up either incinerated or in landfill. Unless incinerated at very high temperatures (>1000oC), fluorinated polymers could release more harmful PFAS during burning. PFAS of environmental concern have also been found in landfill leachate. PFAS is found in treated waste water from industrial and domestic sources and has been found in both rivers and groundwater. Conventional drinking water processes will not remove PFAS.Small quantities of PFAS will be removed during wash and wear of products containing PFAS. This includes fluorinated polymers used on stain-resistant coatings, and non-polymers that remain on clothes after production (Lassen et al. 2015).Non-polymer PFAS can build up in blood protein of animals, and is not always removed quickly. This means that predators eating PFAS-contaminated food will have higher levels in their bloodstream, and concentrations can increase up the food chain. Studies suggest that build up of PFAS is similar to those of other Persistent Organic Pollutants such as DDT.PFAS are estimated to be settling in arctic regions at rates of tens to hundreds of kilograms per year (25-850kg per year), depending on the specific PFAS chemical in question. Certain PFAS are released as gases to the environment and are blown a long way by wind and air currents in the atmosphere,. These gas PFAS will over time degrade to more persistent chemicals like PFOS and PFOA. This may be one reason why PFAS of environmental concern have been found in remote regions such as the Arctic as well as near PFAS production sitesPFAS including PFOS and PFOA have been found in air samples around Europe. The chemicals are found in small quantities, but appear in almost all samples tested. PFAS enters the atmosphere both from factories and the air inside our homes. Non-polymer PFAS are used in the production of fluorinated polymers. The manufacture of stain-resistant finishes generally releases these PFASs into the environment, both by air and water emissions. They are very hard to remove during water treatment. Workers in textiles factories are some of the population most exposed to these potentially harmful chemicals.

Butterdean Wood Dedication

In October 2020, Fidra lost a much-loved colleague and friend, Jasper Hamlet.

Jasper was an exceptional and talented young man, and his loss is felt profoundly. His wonderful connection with nature through his wood carving and beautiful spoon making, love of the outdoors and wildlife, his dedication to his work and his living of these values will stay with us all.

This lovely section of broadleaved woodland at Butterdean is dedicated from his friends and colleagues at Fidra to Jasper’s memory.  We welcome all to enjoy this place of quiet reflection, it’s waymarked trails, and the animal and plant species this diverse habitat supports. Nest and roost boxes have been erected in this area to give bats and birds additional places to live, to ensure Jasper’s place is thriving with nature, in the way he would have loved.

The woodland at Butterdean is managed by our friends at Woodland Trust.

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