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What We Have Done to the Rain

by gmoke Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 07:15:01 PM EST

I make it a practice to post only positive news about the environment and the climate; however, I can't get past this recent news:

"Rainwater everywhere on the planet is unsafe to drink due to levels of toxic chemicals known as PFAS that exceed the latest guidelines, according to a new study by Stockholm University scientists."
Source:  https:/phys.org/news/2022-08-rainwater-unsafe-due-chemicals.html

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are known as "forever chemicals" as they degrade so slowly in the natural environment.  They were made for packaging, shampoo, and makeup.  ("Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity" and the least cost alternative to make more profit.)  PFAS now are everywhere, so persistent and ubiquitous that they will "never disappear from the planet."

The guidelines for exposure to PFAS have changed as we've discovered more about their level of toxicity.  They accumulate in the body over time and can lead to problems with fertility, obesity, developmental delays in children, and prostate, kidney and testicular cancers, among other things.  However, "PFAS levels in people have actually dropped `quite significantly in the last 20 years' and `ambient levels (of PFAS in the environment) have been the same for the past 20 years'".

In addition:
"A new [2020] study estimates that more than 1,000 tons of microplastics from the air - equivalent to more than 123 million plastic water bottles - rain down onto protected areas in the western U.S. each year."

Source:  https:earthsky.org/earth/microplastic-rain-western-us

What have we done to the rain?  What are we doing to ourselves and all the living world?

Can we, will we clean the rain?
. yes 0%
. no 0%
. not yes 0%
. not no 0%
. neither yes nor no 0%
. both yes and no 100%
. don't understand the question? 0%
. none of the above 0%

Votes: 1
Results | Other Polls
First time I read about PFAS was a contamination near Antwerp and the refusal by 3M to accept responsibility for damages and cleanup.

Surreally serious: PFAS paralysis follows astonishing scandal

The PFAS scandal surrounding the 3M factory in Antwerp has continued to unfold, teetering ever closer to the realms of absurdity. While Belgians are no strangers to surrealism, the scandal is as serious as it is ridiculous. As the plot progresses, its dramatic turns could make a worthy sequel to Mark Ruffalo's Dark Waters - Donkere Waters anyone?

The massive pollution and releases of PFOS - one of the most well-known forever chemicals belonging to the PFAS chemical family - and dodgy deals to hush it up have dominated news channels in Belgium for months now.

First assessment of population exposure to perfluorinated compounds in Flanders, Belgium | Nov. 2011 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 09:24:54 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 14th, 2022 at 09:33:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Aug 19th, 2022 at 06:08:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pollution that reaches all around the world, through the rain, is rather depressing, but I still appreciate you bringing it up.

Change the environment enough, by releasing enough of a new chencial and something bad is going to happen. That much have been obvious for at least decades. The fact that the exact bad things are not known until you've tried, isn't a reason to dump new chemicals until you find out.

I hope eventually it will be cleaned up, but it will take quite a shift in priorities from seeing and treating nature as externalities where costs can be dumped, to seeing it as the foundation for our existence.

by fjallstrom on Wed Aug 17th, 2022 at 12:28:54 PM EST
Activated charcoal, I understand, can filter out the PFAS so there's that.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Wed Aug 17th, 2022 at 09:44:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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