There are many threats that we face as a world affected by climate change. Other environmental concerns are also receiving attention. One of the biggest concerns is the increasing amount of water pollution.
How does water pollution affect us? Much more than you think, unfortunately.
We talked about the benefits of rainwater harvesting. Unfortunately, this is becoming a growing concern as rainwater is increasingly poisonous and needs to be filtered properly.
Researchers from Stockholm University and ETH Zurich published an article in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, highlighting their findings after reviewing research from around the world. Remember: Rainwater everywhere – including Antarctica and the Tibetan Plateau – is undrinkable.
Contamination of global rainwater is primarily due to the presence of carcinogenic chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist oil, grease, stains, water and stains. heat. These are called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The chemicals are extremely long-lived and difficult to remove from the environment, earning them the nickname “chemicals forever”.
Chemicals are still among the greatest threats to the environment. They are among the main causes of water pollution and many people do not recognize the warning signs about them.
One of the reasons why PFAAs are very persistent in the environment is that they have the ability to continuously move through the hydrosphere. They are even found in the spray emitted by the ocean.
These concerns illustrate the growing need to better protect stormwater and we are doing more to protect our planet from water pollution. The EPA plays a role in these steps, but the rest of us must also do our part.
The scientists concluded that, “based on the latest US guidelines for PFOA in drinking water, rainwater anywhere in the world would be deemed unsafe to drink.” They warn that it is vital that the uses and emissions of PFAS are quickly limited.
According to the CDC’s fact sheet, PFAS are an especially pressing concern because they:
- Does not break down in the environment
- Move through the ground
- Contaminate sources of drinking water
- Accumulation (bioaccumulation) in fish and wildlife.
These threats are more than ever becoming a big risk for everyone.
Health effects of PFAS
According to animal testing and research on human exposure, PFAS can cause:
- liver damage
- Damage to the immune system
- Low birth weight
- Birth defects
- delayed development
- Newborn deaths (in laboratory animals)
These chemicals are ubiquitous, and samples exceeding EPA standards for drinking water health have been found all over the world in soil, water, fish, and other wildlife.
What can you do?
If you’re serious about advancing environmental responsibility, you’ll want to do your part to help protect against water pollution. Here are some of the most important things you will need to do.
First, protect your health. Filter all drinking water, whether you’re at home, hiking, camping, RVing, or at your off-grid hermitage. It is even important to filter rainwater before drinking it. And, yes, even water collected outside a yurt on the Tibetan Plateau would have to be filtered, unfortunately.
Now raise your voice. Contact your representatives and let them know that you support the EPA’s proposal to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances under the superfund to protect human health.