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Science And Nature

New study says rainwater is currently unsafe to drink

Rainwater can be an important section of our planets ecosystem, also it helps fuel usage of drinking water in lots of places. However, a new study shows that rainwater is currently unsafe to drink. The analysis says that forever chemicals reach unsafe levels. These forever chemicals are scientifically referred to as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), plus they dont breakdown in the surroundings.

Forever chemicals have made rainwater unsafe to drink

rain falling in parking lotImage source: nd700 / Adobe

You can get PFAS chemicals in non-stick and stain-repellent properties. Therefore, theyre within lots of household food packages, electronics, and also cosmetics and cookware. However, it appears that these chemicals are actually mixing with this rainwater. Because of this, it has made rainwater unsafe to drink. And researchers say they cant tie this problem to just one single location. Its all around the world, even yet in Antarctica.

The researchers say that the guideline levels for forever chemicals have dropped significantly in the last 20 years. Thats because new insight into precisely how toxic these chemicals are to the body has emerged. Therefore, the values for PFAS in normal water to be looked at toxic have dropped a lot. Because of this, the current degrees of a definite chemical would deem rainwater unsafe to drink.

Its a fascinating dilemma because rainwater does play this type of large role in the water ecosystem for a few countries. One of the most concerning chemicals, though, is perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA). This forever chemical may cause cancer, and its own guideline values have declined by 37.5 million times in the usa.

PFOA makes rainwater toxic

MIT scientists found more efficient way to boil waterImage source: Vsevolod Vlasenko / Getty Images

As the value guidelines for PFOA in rainwater have changed so much, the existing levels leave rainwater everywhere unsafe to drink. The water isnt necessarily toxic for the reason that it’ll kill you outright. However, it might cause some medical issues, like cancer.

Needless to say, we dont really venture out collecting rainwater in the usa. Nonetheless it does play a big role in a few countries water systems. Having this type of high concentration of known toxic chemicals in the water makes rainwater less useable. Which means that those countries may need to consider other filtration options.

Luckily, were already seeing some very nice work for the reason that field, with some engineers even developing a filtration system that desalinates water with only a button press. If we’re able to take similar tech and filter harmful chemicals, we’re able to more broadly deploy safe water systems abroad that depend on rainwater.

Needless to say, rainwater being unsafe to drink is perhaps most obviously because rain is really a natural way to obtain a substance humans have to survive. And, as the toxic levels within rainwater could open the entranceway to fertility problems, increased threat of cancer, and developmental delays in children, there exists a large amount of cause for concern.

Whether we are able to discover a way to eliminate those chemicals from the surroundings completely is another issue altogether, though.

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