Watch: Indestructible in Nature

Video story by Justin Bright

The complex PFAS problem doesn’t stop where the land meets the sea. These “forever chemicals” eventually flow to estuaries and oceans. Scientists believe they could pose serious risks to wildlife, just as they do humans. 

Environmental chemist Anna Robuck researched seabirds living along the U.S. east coast and discovered a concerning trend: PFAS makes its way up the food chain —from plankton to fish—and accumulates in birds. 

The health of birds is often an indicator of the ecosystem they inhabit, in this case the coastlines. With indications that PFAS chemicals impact the way birds reproduce, feed and migrate, long-term effects remain worryingly unclear.  

Read Next: Part 3 – Never-Ending Cycle