Harmful Chemical PFAS Detected in Norwegian Glaciers

Scientists from Oxford University conducted research on glaciers in Norway’s Svalbard region. As a result of the researches, high levels of “toxic chemicals” and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that threaten wildlife have been found in Norway’s Arctic region.

According to the news of The Guardian Newspaper, scientists from Oxford University detected 26 types of PFAS compounds in their research in the glaciers in Norway’s Svalbard region.

In the study, it was pointed out that the melting of glaciers and the mixing of highly toxic chemicals into water resources pose a danger to wildlife in the region such as plankton, fish, seals and polar bears.


Saying that many PFAS chemicals flow into the waters in the region during seasonal glacier meltdowns, one of the researchers, Dr. William Hartz stated that the said effect doubled with the warming in the Svalbard region, which is above the world average.

Hartz added that polar bears are also exposed to higher amounts of toxic chemicals, apart from the effects of changes in the natural environment.


Perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are defined as a group of widely used man-made chemicals that accumulate over time in the human body and the environment, containing more than 4,700 chemicals.

These substances are also known as “endless chemicals” because they are extremely persistent in the environment and in the human body.

It is stated that these substances can cause health problems such as liver damage, thyroid disease, obesity, fertility problems and cancer.

Ece Nagihan

Hello, I'm Ece, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check!

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