Scientists in the US figured out how to extend the life of the planet and all of humanity
A group of scientists from Northwestern University in Illinos, USA, has presented the world with a new way to neutralize per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which top the list of “eternal chemicals”, reports The Independent.
PFAS (the popular abbreviation for the two) is a group of chemicals used since the 1940s and commonly found in non-stick cookware, waterproof cosmetics, fire fighting foams, and products resistant to fats and oils. These chemicals do not degrade in the environment and remain a constant problem for all living on Earth.
“Although the health effects of these chemicals are not yet fully understood, previous research has indicated that exposure to PFAS is linked to decreased fertility, developmental effects in children, increased risks of various types of cancer, reduced immunity to fight infections and increased cholesterol levels.
PFAS has become a major societal problem. Even just a tiny, tiny amount of PFAS causes negative health effects, and it does not break down,” William Dichtel from Northwestern University, who led the study, said in a statement.
According to this study, PFAS chemicals are already in the blood of 97% (!) of the entire US population and are gradually poisoning the body.
“We can’t just wait out this problem. We wanted to use chemistry to address this problem and create a solution that the world can use. It’s exciting because of how simple – yet unrecognized – our solution is,” Dr Dichtel said.
In short, when PFAS is heated in a dimethyl sulfoxide solution, these chemicals break down into the safest form of fluorine.
Using computer simulations, the scientists found that after the PFAS process, only benign products remain, which are completely dissolved in the soil and do not harm living beings.