Children and young people have too many dangerous chemicals in the blood
A recent evaluation shows that children and young people in Germany have many long – lasting chemicals selected from the group of per-and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, in short, PFAS, in the blood. Elevated levels of these substances in the blood values can, according to experts, among other things, the cholesterol, and the propensity to infections will increase. In addition, there is evidence that they can cause damage to the liver and probably carcinogenic effect.
In Germany, children and young people have between three and 17 years, many long-lasting chemicals selected from the group of per – and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in the blood. The evaluation of the representative German environmental survey shows to the health of children and young people, GerES V.
Substances accumulate in the human
As the German Federal environment Agency reported in a message, and the PFAS, of course. These substances are chemically and thermally very stable. So they accumulate in people and the world in the environment. PFAS are, for example, cups in the coating of coffee, for outdoor jackets, or fire-extinguishing foams are used because they are fat-, water – and dirt-repellent.
“What damage can cause the long-lived PFAS in the environment and the duration, is often still unexplored. We try, therefore, in common with other European countries to ban these substances in the EU as far as possible. This is in the benefit of the right step,“ said Dirk Messner, President of the Federal office for the environment reasons.
Breastfed children are subjected to a higher load
The substance group of the PFAS includes more than 4,700 different chemicals. In the current study were found to most often, PFOS (perfluor octane sulfonic acid) and PFOA (PERFLUORO octanoic acid). According to the figures, 100 percent of all children were impacted in the study with PFOS. PFOA was found samples in 86 percent of the total 1.109 investigated the blood plasma.
The values are part of the Human Biomonitoring Commission (HBM) Thresholds. 21.1 percent of the samples exceeded the HBM-I-value for PFOA, 7.1 percent above the HBM-I-value for PFOS. And 0.2 percent of the samples exceeded the HBM-II-value for PFOS. The HBM-II-value describes, according to the experts, a concentration of current knowledge, a relevant impairment of health status is possible. The load should then be reduced.
As the Federal environment Agency (UBA), explains to accumulate PFAS, primarily in fatty tissue and can also be transferred via breast milk from mother to child. The GerES V results show that breastfed children are heavily contaminated with PFAS than non-breastfed children.
Increased concentrations of PFOA and PFOS in human blood can reduce the according to the experts, effects of vaccinations, the propensity to infections, increase the cholesterol values increase, and in the offspring, reduced birth weight may result.
Furthermore, from animal experiments it is known that the Compounds PFOA and PFOS damage the liver and the development of write-toxic and probably carcinogenic effect, the Federal Institute for risk assessment (BfR) on its website.
Contact avoidance is not easy
Because PFAS are used in many products, it is not easy to avoid contact with these chemicals. Consumers can do without, for example, in coated paperboard preserved food. Dirt-repellent textiles, such as carpets or curtains, also contribute to stress. More tips for a PFAS-the poorer the household, there are on the web pages of the UBA.
Problem for the environment
Also for the environmental PFAS are a Problem: Due to their longevity, they are spread across air and sea currents over a large area around the Globe. PFAS arrive in a variety of ways in the environment. So you can be by the exhaust air of industry in surrounding soils and waters operated shifting.
In addition, PFAS may be attached to particles, and so over long distances in the air up in remote areas to be transported. Therefore, PFAS in polar regions and Alpine lakes, far away from industrial production and human settlements. Through rain and snow, the chemicals from the air, in turn, in ground and surface waters. In addition, you will be registered on the treated wastewater into waters, or contaminate soils foams by the use of PFAS-containing Deletion.
Since they do not degrade, remain PFAS in water and soil and accumulate. Evaluations of the environmental specimen Bank show that, for example, seals, sea eagles or otters are highly contaminated with PFAS. Over the water, the chemicals end up in fish and in animals that eat fish. In polar bear liver, the substances were detected also.
“In the sense of a safe chemicals these chemicals belong to the test. The PERFLUORO chemical has much of a future. Only products and materials that really necessary services for the protection of health, e.g. medical devices or protective clothing for fire brigades deploy, should be allowed to be used“, says Dirk Messner.
Due to the size of the group of substances, the prohibition or the restriction of individual chemicals is not according to the experts makes sense. The UBA is currently working with other authorities from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, a far-reaching EU-wide ban under the EU’s REACH regulation on chemicals for the entire group.
Substances of very high concern
Some of the PFAS apply under REACH already as substances of very high concern (the so-called substances of very high concern, SVHC), because they are very durable, and accumulate in organisms and harmful to humans can be.
For substances of very high concern regulation special disclosure requirements apply in the context of REACH-and it can arise as a licensing requirement, that is, only explicitly authorised uses may continue to be used. Among the substances of very high concern under REACH, PFOA, for example.
In addition, restrictions on the production and use of apply for some carboxylic acids (for example, for PFOA, including the precursor compounds) already now – so PFOA may be starting in July 2020 is no longer produced in the EU. For consumer products there are strict limits for PFOA and precursor compounds apply. According to the figures, this regulation also shows achievements: In the environment specimen Bank of the Federal environment Agency can, therefore, understand that the burden of the people with PFOA and PFOS in the time decreases the course. (ad)