Toxic ‘permanent chemicals’ found in toilet paper

Toilet paper flushed down the toilet and sent to the wastewater treatment plant is likely responsible for a major source of water pollution.

All toilet paper in the world that was tested for toxic PFAS “permanent chemicals” contained the compounds, and waste flushed down toilets and sent to wastewater treatment plants likely creates a significant source of water contamination, a new search .

Once at the sewage plant, the chemicals remain in the sewage sludge. These are eventually spread onto farmland as fertilizer or run off into waterways.

Toilet paper should be considered as a potentially significant source of PFAS entering wastewater treatment systems.,” the study authors wrote.

PFAS on toilet paper

PFAS are a class of about 14,000 chemicals commonly used to make thousands of water, stain, and heat resistant consumer products. They are called “permanent chemicals” because they do not naturally break down and are linked to cancer, fetal complications, liver disease, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders and other serious health problems.

The study looked at 21 major toilet paper brands in North America, Western Europe, Africa, Central America and South America, but did not name the brands.

The peer-reviewed report from the University of Florida did not consider the health implications for people who wipe themselves with contaminated toilet paper. PFAS can be absorbed through the skin, but there is no research on how it can enter the body during the cleansing process. However, this exposuredefinitely worth a looksaid David Andrews, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit public health organization that tracks PFAS contamination.

Brands that used recycled paper had just as much PFAS as those that didn’t, and PFAS in toilet paper may not be preventable, said Jake Thompson, lead author of the study and a graduate student at the University of Florida.

Yet another source of PFAS we are exposed to

I’m not in a rush to change my toilet paper and I’m not saying people should stop using or reduce the amount of toilet paper they use.“, he added. “The problem is that we are identifying another source of PFAS and it highlights that the chemicals are ubiquitous.“.

The levels of PFAS detected are low enough to suggest chemicals are used in the manufacturing process to prevent paper pulp from sticking to machinery, Thompson said. PFAS are often used as lubricants in the manufacturing process, and some of the chemicals are often left in consumer goods.

In a statement to WSVN in Florida, a trade group representing the toilet paper industry said PFAS is not added to toilet paper. Thompson said that “the evidence seems to suggest otherwisealthough it may be true that PFASs are not intentionally added.

Companies may not know it is used because it could come from the manufacturer of the instruments they use.“, he said.

The researchers detected six PFAS compounds, with diPAP 6:2 representing the highest levels. The compound has not been robustly studied, but it is linked to testicular dysfunction. The study also found that PFOA, a highly toxic compound, and diPAP 6:2 can be converted to PFOA once in the environment.

Annual tons of toilet paper

The average American uses 57 pounds of toilet paper a year, and over 19 billion pounds of toilet paper are thrown away each year in the US. The study also analyzed wastewater at eight wastewater treatment plants and found that the 6:2 diPAP in toilet paper likely accounts for much of the compound found in wastewater.

However, PFASs are so common that it’s difficult to pinpoint their origin precisely, which speaks to the broader problem surrounding the widespread use of the chemicals, Thompson said.

As a society, we have to decide what to do about this problem.“, he said.


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