Chemical crime scene, Stop Ocean Poison - VR - Daughter Studios

Stop Ocean Poison

2 minute read

Harmful chemicals are now present in all water on Earth, poisoning our blue planet. It’s a crime – but it’s not illegal. Join us in demanding better protection now.

Sign the petition

Environmental laws are under attack by the UK Government, threatening the health of our blue planet. Join us in calling for urgent, stronger protections from chemical pollution.

The challenge

Chemical pollution is now found in all water on Earth, harming wildlife from the North to South Pole and everywhere in between, fuelling the biodiversity crisis.

Global chemical production is predicted to double by 2030, with an increase in chemical pollution likely to follow.

The planet has already passed the safe limit for chemical pollution. We've got to take action to protect the future of the planet.

PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) or ‘forever chemicals’ are just one group – containing thousands of individual chemicals – of ocean poisons.

There's clear evidence that PFAS are accumulating in our ocean, wildlife and our bodies. Their widespread use is creating a toxic legacy. The more they’re used, the more they build up – everywhere. They're incredibly hard to remove from the environment, meaning they continuously cycle and build up all around us, creating a toxic legacy.

For too long, harmful chemicals have been used as a solution to make products and manufacturing more convenient.

The properties that make them heat resistant, water repellent and hard-wearing also mean they don’t break down easily when they leak into the environment.

These man-made chemicals find their way into rivers and seas, poisoning the global ecosystem.

SOP Infographic - What is PFAS in

The use of forever chemicals isn’t adequately regulated - they shouldn't be in consumer products, and UK Government action should be taken to stop the most harmful chemicals being used.

We’ve been waiting since 2020 for a Chemicals Strategy as promised by the UK Government, but we're still waiting. At a time when environmental laws are under attack, UK Government must deliver what they have promised. That means a strong, fit-for-purpose UK Chemicals Strategy and a commitment to tackling harmful forever chemicals.

Forever chemicals shouldn't be in consumer products, and UK Government action should be taken to stop the most harmful chemicals being used.

Dr Francesca Bevan, Chemicals Policy and Advocacy Manager

Risks for animals and humans

Animals

Sea birds, polar bears, whales, seals – countless species are struggling to survive and thrive. And all the time, harmful chemicals continue to build up with the consequences for animals yet to be discovered. You can find out more about chemical pollution's impacts on iconic animals in our blog: Chemical pollution's animal impacts.

Humans

Exposure to PFAS creates a long-term danger to human health. In the US, a recent study showed extensive health dangers associated with exposure, including cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility and thyroid disease.

Further information on the human impact of PFAS can be found on our frequently asked health questions page.

Take action

At a time when environmental laws are under attack, UK Government must deliver what they have promised: a strong, fit-for-purpose UK Chemicals Strategy and a commitment to tackling forever chemicals.

With your help, we can #StopOceanPoison

Better world protest, Unsplash, Markus Spiske

Credit: Markus Spiske, Unsplash

  • Sign our petition demanding the UK Government protect our blue planet from chemical pollution
  • Learn more about what UK Government must deliver: Parliamentary briefing: Stop Ocean Poison
  • Companies to voluntarily phase out the use of all PFAS in their products (non-essential cases) and switch to safe alternatives by 2025.

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