The Forever Pollution Project
By Tim Luimes, | 1 March, 2023
Over a year ago, Tim Luimes, member of The Investigative Desk, came up with the idea to start a cross-border project about “forever chemicals” PFAS and the contaminated sites all across Europe. What followed was an exclusive, months-long investigation by 18 European newsrooms. Together with a colleague of The Investigative Desk, Tomas Vanheste, and research partners from Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Radar Magazine, WDR, NDR and Watershed, amongst others, the team discovered that more than 17.000 sites across Europe are polluted with these chemicals.
We are very proud to share the results of the Forever Pollution Project with you. You can read a few examples out of many publications below. For more information about the project and to read all the publications, visit the website.
As companies found more and more PFAS applications in the past decades, scientists got a sharper focus on its toxic effects. Regulators were forced to tighten standards for production and use again and again. In the meantime, the almost non-recyclable substances ended up everywhere in the soil, in groundwater, and in humans. Chemours in Dordrecht will sharply reduce its emissions of PFAS and other hazardous substances over time. Scientists and campaigners think it is insufficient. “These emissions are life-threatening.”
Read the full story in NRC (in Dutch).
‘FOREVER POLLUTION’: EXPLORE THE MAP OF EUROPE’S PFAS CONTAMINATION (Le Monde)
MINISTERS TOLD TO GET A GRIP ON SCALE OF ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ POLLUTION IN UK (The Guardian)
The UK government must get a grip on the scale of “forever chemicals” polluting rivers and seas and threatening human and animal health, says Green MP Caroline Lucas as Tory colleague calls for monitoring.
Read the full story in The Guardian (in English).
All over Germany, more than 1500 sites have been contaminated with the forever pollution PFAS. That’s way more than has been publicly known. Reporters from NDR, WDR and Süddeutsche Zeitung have identified several hundred additional sites of presumptive contamination all over Germany. The investigation shows that in many cases, citizens haven’t been informed about the contamination in their neighborhoods. Also, internal documents prove how the chemical industry tried to delay regulation of the forever chemicals in Germany.
Read the full story in Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German).
For more information about the project and to read all the publications, visit the website.
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