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.