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.

Fidra at COP26 goes live

At COP26 we’ll be showing world leaders, the public and businesses how plastic pollution, chemical pollution and the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis are interlinked and must be addressed together.  We will be showcasing our solutions to key environmental issues with an exhibition stand, digital resources and a range of online workshops and in person events. See details on our new website.

Fidra to launch Great Global Nurdle Hunt 2021 results at COP26

As a Scottish environmental charity we are delighted to represent nurdle hunters around the world at COP26 in Glasgow.  We are launching the Great Global Nurdle Hunt 2021 results at our exhibition at COP26 on Tuesday 9th November. There is still time do a nurdle hunt and add your nurdle finds to the Great Global Nurdle Hunt 2021 results.  Your commitment and data demonstrate the scale of the problem and that there is support for governments and industry to do more for our environment.

Events and workshops

We are also exploring interrelated climate, biodiversity and pollution issues from salmon farming and packaging, to the problems and solutions to plastic waste, and chemical contamination in the outdoors with a range of events and workshops both online and in person.

Digital COP resources

Even if you can’t make it to COP26 you can still get involved, visit our new website to find out how Fidra works with the public, government and industry to build resilience and prevent resource loss, share your views and find out how you can help address the climate and biodiversity crises.

Visit Fidra’s COP website

Take a look at our digital displays



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