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Report: Harmful PFAS-substances can cost society billions of

Perfluorinated alkylsyror (PFAS) are chemically produced substances, which since the 1950s has been used in a variety of products, among other things, to create surfaces that repel water, grease and dirt. At the same time, they are extremely persistent and can remain in nature for hundreds or even thousands of years.

Levels in the environment is already a problem in many places, and they will be higher. So they need to be restricted before they come up in harmful levels, " says Daniel Borg, toxicologist at the Swedish chemicals agency.

the Effects of high PFAS concentrations in the body are not fully understood, but studies have, inter alia, indicated effects on the immune system, the thyroid, and cholesterol in the blood, " he says. In an american study has also seen an increased risk for renal cancer, and in the Nordic countries is estimated to 271 children born each year with low birth weight, as a result of PFAS contamination.

from the Nordic council of ministers, as compiled by the consultants after the initiative of the Swedish chemicals agency and the Danish Epa. The report has examined the social costs as a result of PFAS in nature and people, and come to the conclusion that the case of large sums.

In the nordic countries is estimated the annual economic costs, as a result of, in particular, elevated risks of illness, a total lie at least 30 million, and in a high case scenario amount to around 50 billion.

health-related, such as clean-up in nature or the refurbishment of contaminated water, assessed over a 20-year period to be between around 500 million to over 100 billion in the Nordic region.

– They have worked on the basis of different case studies and at the same time, make some estimations and assumptions where data is missing, so therefore the span is so large, " says Åsa Thors, investigator at the Swedish chemicals agency.

– But no matter, it is the large sums of money. If this was the cost for the manufacturers, they would not use substances, but are now charged to cost society instead.

in Sweden, is estimated to have elevated levels of PFAS in the body, according to the report. In order to get high levels of PFAS in the body is, however, generally to be exposed to high levels over a longer period of time, for example in professional life. Because substances found in some brandskum are firefighters at risk, and there are also examples of skidvallare in Sweden that had elevated levels in the blood.

that the same thing will happen to individuals is required, in principle, that you get in PFAS via contaminated drinking water, says Daniel Borg. This is exactly what happened in Kallinge and Ronneby in Blekinge, where the drinking water contaminated by a nearby övningsfastighet for emergency assistance. About 5,000 people got their water from the current water treatment plant, studies on the effects of this are still ongoing.

that the report can serve as the basis for the decision makers who can take action to particularly limit the use of PFAS.

" Hopefully, the result can also be used for other researchers and for policy-makers elsewhere in the world. This is a global problem, " she says.

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