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Madrid Statement on Fluorinated Chemicals

The Madrid Statement, documenting the consensus of over 200 scientists on the extreme persistence and potential for harm of the entire class of highly fluorinated chemicals, was published on 1 May in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

Highly fluorinated chemicals are incredibly resistant to breakdown and they can make products grease or stain-resistant, non-stick, or waterproof.

Because they are resistant to breakdown, these chemicals can persist in our bodies for years. In the environment, they can last for millions of years. This means that the highly fluorinated chemicals released during our lifetimes will build up in the environment, and many future generations will be exposed to them, at even higher levels than we are today.

These chemicals have been associated with testicular and kidney cancer; liver malfunction; hormonal changes; thyroid disruption; high cholesterol; obesity; ulcerative colitis; and lower birth weight and size. Other highly fluorinated chemicals are suspected of similarly causing health problems, but have not been well tested.

The Madrid Statement documents the scientific consensus regarding the persistence and potential for harm of highly fluorinated chemicals (poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)), and lays out a roadmap to gather needed information and prevent further harm.

Find out more on the Madrid statement here.

Useful consumer guide to highly fluorinated chemicals available here

Infographic from

Originally posted on 7 May 2015

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