Elevated PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in London Drinking Water, Independent Probe Discloses

Bluewater, a frontrunner in sustainable water purification and drink solutions, has unearthed significant pollution of London’s tap water by perilous ‘forever’ chemicals, notably PFOA and PFOS. Research has established links between PFOA and PFOS and several health issues, including cancer, high cholesterol, thyroid disorders, liver damage, asthma, allergies, reduced fertility, birth defects, and developmental delays.

A Bluewater research squad collected tap water specimens from three distinct locations within London – Harrow, Heathrow, and Battersea. These actions echo the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2023 alert that the UK is trailing behind other developed countries in setting safe limits for perilous PFAS substances in tap water. The collected samples underwent analysis by an autonomous bio-analytical testing group for PFAS chemicals, specifically perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS).

Bluewater reveals that the Harrow sample contained PFOS at 14 nanograms per litre (ng/l), surpassing the proposed maximum limit by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), which has criticized the UK’s regulatory framework as ‘not fit for purpose’.

The RSC’s critical policy document points out the UK’s lag in PFAS standards compared to international norms. For instance, under Sweden’s forthcoming drinking water regulations, the PFAS-4 levels detected in London by Bluewater would exceed Swedish limits by six times – or 550 percent!

The other samples from Heathrow and Battersea also showed concerning concentrations of PFOA and PFOS, which, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, should have a “Maximum Contaminant Limit” (MCL) goal of zero due to their inherent risks.

Dr Ahmed Fawzy, Bluewater’s Chief Research Scientist, voiced significant alarm at these findings, stating, “The results of the study are deeply disturbing. Discovering PFAS-related chemicals in London’s drinking water at such high levels raises serious health concerns that require immediate attention as they exceed thresholds that consumer protection bodies in the EU and US deem harmful to human health.”

He further highlighted the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s acknowledgment of the urgent need for statutory PFAS monitoring and regulation, terming Britain’s current PFAS thresholds as “confusing”. Dr Fawzy advocates for a prompt and substantial revision of PFAS standards, echoing the RSC’s recommendation for a drastic 90% cut in the maximum guideline level from 100 ng/l to 10 ng/L.

The detection of PFAS compounds like PFOS and PFOA is particularly troubling due to their associated health hazards. These compounds are omnipresent across the globe, found in soil, surface water, and drinking water, stemming from their extensive use in a variety of products. Recent assessments have shown that 35 percent of English waterways and 37 percent in Wales have medium or high-risk concentrations of PFOS and PFOA.

Philip Russell, Bluewater’s Chief Purpose Officer, expressed the company’s readiness to collaborate with London’s municipal authorities and support health initiatives to heighten awareness and legislative action on water quality and healthy hydration.

“Bluewater aspires to improve worldwide access to clean, safe, and sustainable drinking water and our London investigation underlines how our mission is more critical than ever,” Philip Russell remarked. He also highlighted Bluewater’s efforts in revolutionising hydration practices, eliminating the dependence on single-use plastics, and employing innovative technologies for secure and wholesome drinking water.

Philip Russell further noted, “Bluewater’s ground-breaking range of under-sink purifiers enable consumers and businesses to end their reliance on bottled water while restoring trust in the water flowing directly from their taps. Bluewater SuperiorOsmosis™ reverse osmosis technology successfully removes PFAS chemical pollutants from contaminated drinking water at the same time as dramatically reducing the water wastage and energy consumption common to traditional RO technology, further reinforcing our company-wide commitment to sustainability.”

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