HealthChemicals harmful to health... Is toilet paper a new source of pollution?

Chemicals harmful to health… Is toilet paper a new source of pollution?

Do we pollute every day with toilet paper? According to a study published on Wednesday, this product is an unexpected source and “potentially significant” PFAS, these chemicals are nicknamed “perpetual pollutants” and harmful to health that seep into sewage and soils around the world.

Found in many everyday items (cosmetics, non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, etc.), perfluorinated (PFC) and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) compounds are indeed synthetic chemical compounds. They have been linked to several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, fertility problems, and developmental disorders in children.

Chemicals in wood pulping

This is the conclusion reached by the researchers of a study published in the journal Environment and Technology Letters, collected between November 2021 and August 2022, rolls of toilet paper sold in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Western Europe, as well as wastewater samples from wastewater treatment plants in the United States. They discovered the presence “disubstituted polyfluoroalkyl phosphates” (diPAP), compounds that can convert to more stable PFAS, such as perfluorooctanoic acid, potentially carcinogenic.

This discovery of PFAS in toilet paper can be explained by the fact that some manufacturers add chemicals during wood-to-paper pulping, traces of which remain in the final product. The study says that recycled toilet paper can also be made from fibers from materials containing PFAS.

These measurements were then compared with data from other studies of PFAS levels in wastewater and toilet paper use per capita in several countries. The study concluded that toilet paper was the source of about 4% of the diPARs found in the US and Canada, 35% in Sweden, and up to 89% in France.

The researchers point out that this “essential” reduce their presence in wastewater, “usually reused for irrigation and/or spreading”, therefore, can lead to human and environmental exposure to PFAS. The European Chemicals Agency, taken over by five EU countries in mid-January, will consider a proposal to ban PFAS by 2026.

IN with AFP

Source: TF1


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