What are Forever Chemicals?

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What are Forever Chemicals? Blog Image


An Oxford University-led study found alarming levels of toxic PFAS also known as “forever chemicals” in ice around Svalbard, Norway which pose a risk to the region’s wildlife.

 About Forever Chemicals:

  • PFAS (Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances), also known as the Forever Chemicals, are a large chemical family of over 4,700 highly persistent man-made chemicals.
  • They are the most persistent synthetic chemicals to date.
  • These were first developed in the 1940s and are now found in a variety of products, including nonstick pans, water-resistant textiles and fire suppression foams.
  • PFAS don’t easily degrade in the environment and are very mobile in water.
  • PFAS’ indestructability comes from their carbon-flouride bonds, one of the strongest types of bonds in organic chemistry. 
  • Over time, these pollutants have accumulated in the environment, entering the air, soil, groundwater and lakes and rivers as a result of industrial processes and from leaching through landfills.
  • PFAS have been found in the environment all around the world, even in the most remote areas such as the Arctic. They have also been detected in the blood and breastmilk of people and wildlife globally.
  • Chronic exposure to even low levels of PFAS has been linked to liver damage, high cholesterol, reduced immune responses, low birth weights and several kinds of cancer.


Q1) Why are carbon-fluorine bonds stronger?

Fluorine, being the most electronegative element, imparts relatively stronger bond dipole moments to the C–F bonds. Due to the strong electrostatic attractions between these bond dipoles the C–F bond has the highest bond strength as compared to that of any other C–X (X = any atom including H) bond

Source: Study finds alarming levels of ‘forever chemicals’ in Norwegian Arctic ice may affect wildlife