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PFAS found in more than 330 species of wildlife around the world

FILE-A harbor seal looks around in Casco Bay in this July 30, 2020 file photo off Portland, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
FILE-A harbor seal looks around in Casco Bay in this July 30, 2020 file photo off Portland, Maine.

More than 330 species of wildlife worldwide are contaminated with PFAS, according to an environmental watchdog group. Scientists at the Environmental Working Group evaluated more than 100 peer-reviewed studies that show 120 PFAS chemicals have been detected in species around the globe.

Here in Maine, the analysis cited Harbor Porpoise, Harbor Seals, and Pygmy Sperm Whales.

Dr. David Andrews, an EWG scientist, said while Maine has taken steps to address the problem, real change must happen on a global scale.

"It does highlight what is a systematic failure of our regulatory system to regulate those concerning chemicals," Andrews said. "There's a bureaucracy there, by intent of the industry that could be regulated. There's an enormous incentive for them to keep the status quo. And what that's led to is global contamination."

Andrews says the U.S. could lead regulatory change requiring the use of safer chemistries and replacements for PFAS, which have been linked to health problems in humans, including cancer.