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Toilet Paper May Be a Source of Cancer-Causing PFAS in Wastewater, Study Says

According to research, toilet paper may release PFAS, or possibly toxic chemicals, into wastewater systems.

In addition to cosmetics and cleansers, PFAS are also present in paper products.

They claim that a variety of health problems, including cancer, infertility, and liver disease, may be caused by the substances.

The presence of potentially dangerous compounds known as PFAS in groundwater has been linked to the use of toilet paper.

Several consumer goods, such as cosmetics, cleansers, and firefighting foams, include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS Trusted Source).

PFAS are suspected of contributing to a number of illnesses, including cancer, lowered immunity, and issues with development and reproduction, even if the data is not clear.

The health of people who consume PFAS-containing water is in danger.

Healthline was informed by Dr. Katie Pelch, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Food in the diet is another potential source of PFAS exposure because groundwater can be utilized for agricultural purposes and it has been demonstrated that plants, including crops, can take up PFAS.

What was discovered in a PFAS study on toilet paper

The most frequently found PFAS in sewage sludge samples, while at low levels, was one specific molecule, termed 6:2 diPAP, according to University of Florida researchers who were examining the occurrence of PFAS in wastewater.

It was also discovered to be the most prevalent PFAS in samples of toilet paper purchased in Africa, western Europe, North America, and South America.

Today, they published their research in the online journal of the American Chemical Society.

According to their analysis, the contribution of toilet paper to the 6:2 diPAP in sewage in the United States and Canada, as well as in Sweden and up to 89% in France, was estimated to be around 4%.

Jake Thompson, a senior research author and doctoral student at the University of Florida, said that while it isn’t the entire issue, it is undoubtedly a component of it.

Data “indicate that there are geographical disparities in contamination,” he said, adding that.

The health threats from PFAS

The study found that certain paper producers add PFAS when turning wood into pulp. There is a chance that PFAS-containing goods’ fibers will end up in recycled toilet paper.

Timothy Townsend, PhD, a professor of the University of Florida’s Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences and a principal author of the study, told Healthline, “We believe it comes from the pulping process and is put on instruments to keep paper from sticking.

According to Pelch, PFAS found in toilet paper at parts per billion levels are most likely pollutants from the production or packaging process.

According to researchers, the comparatively low concentration of 6:2 diPAP in wastewater collected in the United States and the fact that Americans use more toilet paper per person than individuals in other countries could be contributing factors.

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