A fresh study indicates it might contain hazardous chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other diseases
FILE PHOTO. © Global Look Press / www.imago-images.de / Ulrich Roth
Toilet paper worldwide contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and may be a major source of water pollution, a new study by researchers at the University of Florida suggests.
According to the study, published by the Environmental Science & Technology Letters journal, the team tested rolls from 21 major toilet paper brands sold in the Americas, Africa and Europe, as well as sewage samples from eight wastewater treatment plants in Florida. Both toilet paper and sewage sludge turned out to contain PFAS, with so-called diPAPs, specifically, 6:2 fluorotelomer phosphate diester (6:2 diPAP), found to be the most abundant compound.
Based on the findings, available data on PFAS levels in sewage and per capita toilet paper usage in other countries, the researchers estimated that toilet paper can contribute to 89% of the 6:2 diPAP in wastewater in France, as well as to 35% in Sweden. At the same time, the hygienic implement is responsible for only about 4% of the compound in wastewaters in Canada and the US, according to the study.