In a press release on March 18, 2019, the Nordic Co-operation announced the publication of a new report investigating the environmental and health costs associated with exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The report is described as “providing an assessment that is intended to be used to raise better awareness of the costs and long-term problems that the use of fluorinated substances may cause for the environment or human health.”

Use of PFAS is widespread across industry applications and consumer products, with the press release noting that human “exposure occurs primarily through contamination of drinking water.” Upgrading drinking water treatment facilities and remediating contaminated soils, it finds, would also be costly. The report notes that large uncertainties exist within the estimations, however it argues that “there is a firm basis for concluding that the lower bound estimates [for the entire European Economic Area (EEA)] will be exceeded and that a best estimate in the order of 10-20 billion euros is plausible for the environmental related costs.” For human health, the report estimates total health impact-related costs for the EEA to be in the range of 52 to 84 billion Euro annually. It describes these results as “conservative” and that “further inaction will lead to more sources of contamination, more people exposed, and higher costs for remediation.”

Read more

Nordic Co-operation (March 18, 2019). “Fluorinated substances pollute for billions of Euros every year.

Caterina Tani (March 28, 2019). “PFAS cost to EEA health estimated at up to €84bn – report.Chemical Watch


Nordic Co-operation (March 18, 2019). “The cost of inaction: A socioeconomic analysis of environmental and health impacts linked to exposure to PFAS.” doi: 10.6027/TN2019-516