Forever chemicals found in drinking water around London

Forever chemicals found in drinking water around London

With a number of water companies in the UK coming under fire for a dismal record of sewage investment and spills throughout the previous year, things, at least for Thames Water and SES seem to be getting worse. 


Open Democracy has recently reported that a dangerous volume of PFAS (or forever chemicals) have been found within 10 miles of both Heathrow Airport in West London and Gatwick Airport in South London. Thames Water has said that water at five of the 105 treatment plants it runs contains PFAS in quantities in excess of 10ng/l. SES claim that there “are currently no operational measures, or restrictions”. 


impACT International, in agreement with Open Democracy, suggest that current UK policies are completely out of step with current understandings of the dangers of PFAS. Recently 116 globally respected PFAS scientists signed a letter stating that the level of 100 ng/l safety cap for drinking water (passed by the WHO) is far too weak. 


Whilst the EU has rather stricter PFAS laws, the United Kingdom’s restrictions are around twenty times less strict. Dr Julie Schneider, part of the UK’s CHEM Trust Campaign Group, who was interviewed by Open Democracy stated that “the standards currently in place in the UK are not protective enough. The maximum levels of individual PFAS acceptable in drinking water should be drastically reduced based on the most up-to-date science”. 


Alongside Open Democracy, impACT International implores the UK government to adopt far stricter regulations on PFAS in UK water. Alongside poorly managed water treatment services and regular sewage spills, the UK must reconsider how it’s utilities are run. If water companies were comfortable blatantly damaging the environment through spillages, there should be little confidence in their ability to deal with PFAS levels.



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