'Forever chemicals' found in British otters

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'Forever chemicals' found in British otters
28 Feb 2022
6 min read


News Synopsis

According to a recent study, Otters found in England and Wales have been found infected with toxic chemicals infamously known as “forever chemicals” that are used in nonstick saucepans and food packaging. The substances are called PFASs, are also used in other products such as fire extinguishing products, stain removal products, waterproof clothing, etc. Researchers emphasize that the presence of these chemicals in otters indicates that the levels of these pollutants have exponentially increased in the ecosystem. These chemicals can infiltrate the surroundings and spread through drains and sewage treatment plants that can further contaminate the environment. Emily O'Rourke, a PhD student at Cardiff University said: "When we are washing clothes, or just washing things down the drain, they get into our sewage works, which are not designed to remove PFASs because they're ancient. They are also retained in the sewage sludge.”  Due to this contamination in Otters, several otters have been found dead in various parts of the United Kingdom. Principal investigator of Otter Project, Dr. Elizabeth Chadwick said: "Our research was possible though the ongoing collection of otters found dead from across Britain. Our archive has samples from more 4,000 individuals collected since 1992; it is a unique and important resource for understanding this protected species, and for understanding environmental contamination and health." 

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