Scientists discover how to destroy ‘eternal chemicals’ that can cause cancer

Makeup palettes and brushes on a table

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PFAS are used in makeup and pharmaceuticals for their water resistant properties.

Scientists have for the first time identified how to destroy “eternal (or permanent) chemicals” in a low-cost method, says one new research published in Science.

Scientists have linked exposure to the substances, at certain levels, with serious health risks, including cancer and birth defects.

Chemicals known as PFAs (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds) are used in hundreds of everyday objects such as food packaging, non-stick cookware, raincoats, adhesives, paper, paints and makeup. There are about 4,500 of these fluorine-based compounds.

Their resistance to water, grease and dirt makes them highly useful. However, it is these properties that make them so difficult to destroy.

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