PFAS is used in almost all industries and is found in many products such as textiles, carpets, shoes, food packaging, cosmetics, fire foam and pesticides.
The hunting community in Ittoqqotoormiit (Scoresby Sound), Northeast Greenland, has some of the world’s highest concentrations of PFAS in their blood, even though they live far away from sources of contamination with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The study, which has just been published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, shows that 92% of residents in Ittoqqortoormiit have far more PFAS in the body than the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends to avoid damage to the immune system.
“If measures are not taken quickly, such as a ban on PFAS and the use of alternatives to PFAS, pollution of the environment will continue to threaten public health around the world,” says professor Christian Sonne.
The researchers behind the study show that PFAS levels in the blood are generally higher in the European countries and North America compared to countries in Asia and Africa. The highest concentrations are found (in descending order) in Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Malaysia, U.S., Taiwan, Greece, Poland, Spain and Iceland.