"All toilet paper from across the globe checked for toxic PFAS “forever
chemicals” contained the compounds, and the waste flushed down toilets and sent
to sewage treatment plants probably creates a significant source of water
pollution, new research has found.
Once in the wastewater plant, the chemicals can be packed in sewage sludge that
is eventually spread on cropland as fertilizer, or spilt into waterways.
“Toilet paper should be considered as a potentially major source of PFAS
entering wastewater treatment systems,” the study’s authors wrote.
PFAS are a class of about 14,000 chemicals typically used to make thousands of
consumer products resist water, stains and heat. They are called “forever
chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and they are linked to
cancer, fetal complications, liver disease, kidney disease, autoimmune
disorders and other serious health issues.
The study checked 21 major toilet paper brands in North America, western
Europe, Africa, Central America and South America, but it did not name the
The peer-reviewed University of Florida report did not consider the health
implications of people wiping with contaminated toilet paper. PFAS can be
dermally absorbed, but no research on how it may enter the body during the
wiping process exists. However, that exposure is “definitely worth
investigating, said David Andrews, senior scientist with the Environmental
Working group, a public health non-profit that tracks PFAS pollution.
Brands that used recycled paper had just as much PFAS as those that did not,
and it may be that there is no avoiding PFAS in toilet paper, said Jake
Thompson, the study’s lead author and a University of Florida grad student"
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics