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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17554424 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's Blog
© Scott Currie

Nature needs legal protection

From 1 January 2021 the EU’s environmental protection laws will no longer apply in Scotland. That means we have just a few weeks left to make Scotland’s new nature laws as strong as possible. Fidra have joined thousands across Scotland calling for stronger laws to protect and restore nature. By signing the petition you can show your support for better legal protection for nature in Scotland.

New Stronger Laws Now Needed

Many of us are now more aware than ever of how important nature is to our wellbeing and our future. But the scale of the challenges facing our environment has never been greater. 1 in 9 species are at risk of extinction in Scotland.  With time running out for species and the laws that protect them Fidra are supporting calls for Scotland to retain and build upon crucial EU environmental protections.

80% of Scotland’s environmental protections come from the EU so we now need strong new Scottish laws to protect and restore our wildlife and landscapes. Following pressure from thousands who wrote to the First Minister last year, the Scottish Government’s EU Continuity Bill includes plans to embed some key European environmental principles in Scots law and to set up a new environment watchdog, but it doesn’t go far enough.

The Power to Protect

The Continuity Bill must do more to protect Scotland’s nature. We need a independent watchdog with the power to uphold and defend environmental protections.  The ability to take action on specific complaints is a key strength of the EU system, but it’s missing from the proposed Scottish watchdog. The bill must be amended to include this power.  Scotland’s new environment watchdog must be truly independent. It needs the power to hold government to account and to enforce the laws protecting the natural environment.

An effective environment watchdog provides citizens with a means to get their voices heard, access justice. It levels the playing field for those businesses, farms and industries that are compliant.  Join us in calling for a watchdog with the power and independence to defend Scotland’s nature.

Sign the petition for stronger environmental protection in Scotland

As we strive for a green recovery from the pandemic and tackle the growing threats to nature strong laws protecting our environment will be more crucial than ever. Now is the time to make Scotland’s environmental protections as strong as they can possibly be. Strong laws help us protect and restore Scotland’s nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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