EV Batteries Linked to ‘Forever Chemicals’

A report from Business Insider details a new study published in the journal Nature Communications that revealed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries present in most electric vehicles (EVs) contain “forever chemicals.”

According to the study, some lithium-ion battery components use PFAS chemicals, per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, that remain in the environment.

“[W]e confirm the clean energy sector as an unrecognized and potentially growing source of international PFAS release,” the study says. “Results underscore that environmental impacts of clean energy infrastructure merit scrutiny to ensure that reduced CO2 emissions are not achieved at the expense of increasing global releases of persistent organic pollutants.”

Scientists uncovered high levels of PFAS in American, Belgian, and French plants.

Exposure to PFAS through water, air, and soil can lead to a number of health concerns.

2023 research from U.S. Geological Survey found that at least 45% of tap water in the United States is contaminated with “forever chemicals.”

The USGS study tested tap water for 32 types of forever chemicals from more than 700 locations across the United States.

The study took place over a 5-year period.

“USGS scientists tested water collected directly from people’s kitchen sinks across the nation, providing the most comprehensive study to date on PFAS in tap water from both private wells and public supplies,” USGS research hydrologist Kelly Smalling said in a statement.

Urban areas showed the largest concentration of PFAS, primarily in the Great Plains, Great Lakes, Eastern Seaboard, and Central and Southern California.