Shocking levels of ‘forever chemicals’ found in Arctic ice

Shocking levels of ‘forever chemicals’ found in Arctic ice Photo by Vaclav-Sebek

An oxford study has revealed alarming risks to wildlife after high levels of forever chemicals were recorded in the Norwegian Arctic ice 

A new study has revealed an alarmingly high level of contamination from forever chemicals in the Arctic ice, posing a huge risk to local wildlife.  

The study which was led by Oxford University has revealed over 26 different types of PFAS compounds or forever chemicals.  

Researchers also stated that when the ice melts, the chemicals move from glaciers into other ecosystems including tundra and the Arctic fjords.  

This movement of chemicals downstream results in affecting everything in the food chain including plankton, fish, and even larger animals such as polar bears.  

 “There’s a washout of contaminants that occurs seasonally and some PFAS seem to be mobile during melts, which could be important to ecosystems downstream,” said Dr. William Hartz, a lead author on the study who noted a “doubling up effect” on animals as climate changes and ice melts, cited by the Guardian.  

He added, “As a polar bear, you have exposure to toxic manmade chemicals, and stresses from a changing habitat”.  

PFAS are called forever chemicals as they do not break down naturally and have been linked to cancer as well other serious health problems such as liver disease, kidney stress and fetal complications.  

They are used in thousands of consumer products for water, stain, and heat resistance.  

Scientists also said that “particularly high levels of TFA, a refrigeration byproduct”, were also found.  

Considered to be less toxic than PFAS, the effects of TFA chemicals are so far unknown to scientists, as it has not been thoroughly studied until now.


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Written by

Imran Khan