Silent Spring Institute Northeastern University--Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute Michigan State University Toxics Action Center Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition Testing for PEASE

Toxic, long-lasting contaminants detected in people living in northern Canada

Researchers have recently found that several long-lasting human-made contaminants have been building up in Arctic lakes, polar bears and ringed seals and other wildlife.

These contaminants belong to a family of chemicals called polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and are used in food packaging, waterproof clothing and firefighting foams. The true number of PFAS that exist is hard to pin down, but estimates suggest there are more than 4,700 types, as industry continues to make new ones.

Researchers have been concerned about this class of chemicals because they do not degrade in the environment and may carry health risks for wildlife and humans. Our research team has measured these chemicals in the blood of people living in northern communities. Read more…