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Scientists from UCLA, Northwestern University and China published a study in Science. It found that a mixture of sodium hydroxide, used in an alkali, and an organic solvent called dimethyl sulphoxide effectively breaks down a large subset of PFAS known as perfluorocarboxylic acids or PFCAs.
Scientists heated the mixture at 175 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (about 79 to 121 degrees Celsius) and it began to break down the bonds between the PFAS molecules. After a few days, the mixture can even reduce any fluorine by-products to harmless molecules.
PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances), or “forever chemicals”, are used to dye clothing, carpets and food packaging, create stable and shiny cosmetics, and produce dirt- and water-repellent coatings on kitchenware. They barely decompose in the natural environment.
These substances increases the risk of cancer, birth defects, liver and thyroid diseases, and hormone problems.
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