• Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

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Chemistry has led to environmental woes, but it can tackle them too

Spills of crude oil on the soil surface - environment pollution.; Shutterstock ID 559184992; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Shutterstock/Mykola59

PERFLUOROOCTANESULFONIC ACID might not roll off your tongue, but you almost undoubtedly have some of it inside you. Once widely used as a water-repellent coating for clothing and fabrics, “PFOS” is now notorious as a non-biodegrading “forever chemical” that builds up in the environment, our water supply and eventually us.

The world is finally coming to terms with the legacy of our indiscriminate development and use of chemicals over the past half-century and more. Last year, the UN declared chemical pollution a third great planetary crisis, alongside climate change and biodiversity loss.

These are welcome developments, as are earlier steps, …