How PFAS are Affecting the Artic
By: Jack Leland
Summary. PFAS also know as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances are chemicals that don’t break down naturally in the environment. They are used in lots of different human made products, from pizza boxes to foam used to fight fires, and then they are released into the air. Once they are in the air they then will get trapped in snow and be brought to the Artic, they then often get trapped in Arctic ice. As the Earth begins to heat up the PFAS leave the ice and float in the water. When PFAS go into the water they increase the salinity of the water. The more water that this process begins to affect the worse it will get for the planet, the reason for this is that when the PFAS are in the water it releases pollutants into the air and gets rid of key nutrients. With these key nutrients missing it will affect the biota, (The base of the marine food web) causing major problem within the food web. People have been trying to find ways to combat and reduce the amount of PFAS in our environment. Scientists at in the UK have been studying to find ways to put less PFAS in our air. Other scientists are trying to find ways to take it out of our water. One of the ways that they are doing this is using reverse osmosis. This method does not help the environment as much, but stops it from poisoning humans. There have not been any ways to stop PFAS completely so, for now scientists will still have to work with just being able to find ways to reduce them enough so that it will affect the Earth as little as possible.
Why we should care? The PFAS also affect humans. It has been shown to lead to liver failure and fetus growth problem.
I found this article interesting because it lets the reader learn about what PFAS are, how they are produced, how they are affecting us and what the consequences are. They make it so that the reader does not get flooded with too much information. This makes it so that they start with verys basic concepts and then can go into a lot of detail about the problem. They do not go so deep into the content that an average reader would not be able to understand the article making it more appealing and available to a wider audience outside of other scientists.
Science in Action.
Karen Y. Kwok is associated with the City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Dr. Kwok is an Environmental Scientist who studies mainly out of Hong Kong on how humans affect marine life. She has been working on these issues for over 12 years. She mainly does research on how specific things that enter the water affect the animals, Like her article about how flame retardants are affecting zebrafish. She also has written a lot about how PFAS are affecting marine life which is why I believe she is relevant to my topic. With over four articles talking about PFAS she has devoted most of her work towards trying to save marine life from this deadly chemical.
Well I’ve got to say it’s great that not only is our drinking water from rivers and lakes contaminated by PFAS. Also the arctic ice is contaminated too, this means soon there won’t be any clean water left. Now we just gotta see if it’s underground too. I love chemicals in my water personally!
PFAS are super concerning to me, the fact the companies keep producing these man-made chemicals while knowing that they can have detrimental effects on humans and animals is cruel. I didn't realize that PFAS could cycle through the atmosphere AND the hydrosphere. I hope that government leaders take action soon to prevent more PFAS from contaminating our water, this is super scary!
The melting sea ice in the Arctic is this is a big concern to humanity in many many different ways. PFAS is one of these chemicals concentrating in the the sea ice in the Arctic from the atmosphere. Many of these polymers such as PFAS have been banned from the United States, but 1000'S are still in practical usages today. Is Teflon that covers frying pans is one of these usages that people will have to stop. Simple substitute in combating this rising concentration of PFAS in our atmosphere might need to start in our personal kitchens. In 2030, the state of Maine will band all cosmetics containing PFAS. Maybe women should look for natural beauty products. Hopefully the upswing in respiratory diseases such as covid 19 might be circumvented by changing what we put in the air. The concentration of PFAS in the sea ice is a tail tell sign of the concentration of PFAS humans. The Earth is alive and deserves to be treated by a doctor and prescribed is a regiment to keep its proper health. PFAS is a cancer for our plant and will kill humans is the same manner with testicular or kidney cancers.
PFAs are something I only knew little about before looking at them more in depth in this class. They are interesting to learn about, as well as very concerning. It is also especially concerning that PFAs get released as Arctic ice melts. This is a current issue that we are facing and the release of PFAs adds another incredibly negative issue with the loss of Arctic ice. Especially because that is on top of things like loss of habitat and Earth warming up in general. I did not know PFAs were released from Arctic ice on top of everything else, so I am glad I am aware of it now.
PFAS seem to be as useful as they are dangerous. This seems to happen a lot with popular chemicals and material. Reminiscent of lead paint and pipes, and asbestos insulation. A super useful item until we learn that it is slowly killing us and the planet we inhabit.
Before reading this, I have never heard about PFAS. I did not know that it was something hat was part of our lifestyle that just is casually there. It is scary to hear that something like this is in our
I’ve always heard about PFAS throughout the years, but I never truly understood how detrimental it is to the environment and society. It seems like another chemical that’s “harmless,” but that is not the case. While trying to learn more about PFAS, there is little to no research on this subject. It’s extremely disheartening to see.
I think this article does a great job at showing how all the systems are connected. With a substance like PFAS that cannot be broken down, it is easily traceable throughout Earth's many ecosystems. While this is beneficial (it being traceable), it is also scary because it shows just how detrimental PFAS and other similar substances are to our planet in more ways than one.
Great article choice Jack! It's most definitely scary to think about the potential harm that this frozen PFAS could cause, and something to keep in mind as the years go on and the climate continues to change. It seems as if over the next few years PFAS will continue to become more and more of an issue around the world.
It is very concerning to find out PFAS are in the Arctic and messing with the biota. We have talked about PFAS before but I didn't realize how much damage it was causing to our environment until I started reading these articles. It sucks that we haven't found a way to largely reduce PFAS.
This was a very interesting article to read!
The more that I read about PFAS, the more I find the idea of highly restrictive policies regarding their use necessary. Unfortunately, without massive international cooperation, it seems that companies will continue to produce these chemicals in regions which they are unregulated. It is quite depressing to think how these chemicals will continue to spread to every corner of the globe (where they will indefinitely remain) unless they are severely disincentivized soon.
Wow, PFAs are something I've never even heard of before this week. It's so alarming the amount of negative and harmful things that are going around the environment, and I bet I don't even know half of those things. It's crazy how PFAs end up in the Arctic and ultimately the water, which really shows how harmful things we produce truly can go full circle in the environment and affect everything.
Learning about PFAS in class the past few weeks has really opened me up to chemicals that are everywhere around me. I knew there was chemicals but not to the extent that they are out there and the huge affect they not only have on my body but on the status of the Earth. I don't really find it that hard to believe that there is PFAS in the Arctic Ice because in all recent news the Arctic is becoming very damaged from global warming. So it is not a surprise that PFAS has made its way there too. It is very sad that this chemical has been known to be terrible and it is still allowed to be processed and manufactured out to the population.
I found this article very interesting because it shows how PFAS affect the biomes that don't necessarily involve humans. In class, we talked a lot about how PFAS need to be removed from the water humans drink, but not so much about how it affects marine life. This piece shows the catastrophic impact that PFAS could have on our oceans if their dangers to the natural world are ignored.
This presentation was very well done. I honestly didn’t have much information about PFAS but reading this article and your presentation really aided in my ability to understand them to a deeper level. It’s crazy to see the effects they have on both humans and environments. I am glad to hear that reverse osmosis controls it better. I just wish that would've been more beneficial to the environment as well. I believe this should definitely be brought to the surface more frequently and taught more often to people.
Leave a Reply.
Students of ESG 1500