PFAS chemicals found in the blood of EU leaders
PFAS – also known as the forever chemicals – have been found in the blood of key European leaders, showing that no one is exempt from the impacts of PFAS pollution.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and ChemSec tested the blood of top-level European leaders, including Vice-Presidents of the European Commission, the head of the European Environment Agency, and several Members of the European Parliament.
Their blood was analysed to look for 13 PFAS. Up to seven different PFAS chemicals were found in all individuals tested, including PFOA and PFOS, which are restricted worldwide.
PFAS are used in a wide range of consumer products, such as food packaging, cosmetics, and clothing, as well as in industrial applications. PFAS has also been found in drinking water across Europe – read more in our article ‘PFAS water contamination scandals unfold across Europe’.
Exposure to the most studied PFAS has been linked to developmental issues, immune system disruption, and other serious health conditions. They are also extremely persistent – this is why they’re nicknamed the ‘forever chemicals’ – and once in our environment, they will last for generations to come.
Frans Timmermans, former Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal, said:
“Toxic forever chemicals are everywhere. They invade our environment, home-grown vegetables, fish, and our bodies, where they persist forever. Our citizens must be protected from that. We must stop all emissions of this legalized garbage. We call on Europe to fully ban the use of these chemicals.”
These test results echo those found in the wider European population. The European biomonitoring project, HBM4EU, found that the general public is widely exposed to harmful chemicals, including PFAS.
PFAS pollution will impact generations to come. It is vital that decision-makers act now to turn off the tap on PFAS pollution to avoid adding to the problem. CHEM Trust is working with NGOs in the UK and the EU calling for a ban on all PFAS in consumer products by 2025; followed by a ban on the whole family of PFAS chemicals by 2030.