This Article is From Mar 14, 2023

Toilet Paper Around The World Contains Harmful 'Forever Chemicals', Says Study

These chemicals do not decompose, and can also contaminate drinking water sources.

Toilet Paper Around The World Contains Harmful 'Forever Chemicals', Says Study

The toilet paper we use is full of PFAS also known as "forever chemicals''

New research has found that all the toilet paper from most regions across the world contains toxic ''forever chemicals'' and might be a significant source of water pollution, The Guardian reported. The study published in the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology suggests that the toilet paper we use is full of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as "forever chemicals.'' These chemicals do not decompose, and can also contaminate drinking water sources. 

The team tested toilet paper products sold in Africa,  North America, Central America, South America and Europe, as well as sewage samples from eight wastewater treatment plants in Florida, and found that non-organic toilet paper and products made from recycled fibres were major sources of forever chemicals. 

''Toilet paper should be considered as a potentially major source of PFAS entering wastewater treatment systems,'' the study's authors wrote. 

PFAS refers to a class of 14,000 chemicals that are typically used in consumer products to make them water and heat-resistant. They are also used in a number of household items, including clothes, furniture, adhesives, packaging, and wires.

As the name suggests, these chemicals don't naturally break down and are linked to cancer, fetal complications, liver disease, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders and other serious health issues.

While PFAS can be absorbed through the skin, there has not been enough research to determine their impact on humans through wiping with paper that contains such chemicals.

The lead author of the study, Jake Thompson who is a grad student at the University of Florida said, ''I'm not rushing to change my toilet paper and I'm not saying that people should stop using or reduce the amount of toilet paper they use.'' He added, “The issue is that we're identifying another source of PFAS, and it highlights that the chemicals are ubiquitous,'' as per the Guardian. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recent studies have linked high levels of PFAS consumption with increased cholesterol and blood pressure levels, increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer, decreased vaccine response in children, and more.