Paper straws are good for turtles but dangerous for humans


 The use of plastic straws began to be eliminated in Malaysia in the last five years to reduce pollution and save turtles in the ocean. Instead of straws made of paper, plants and metal are used on the grounds that they are better for the environment. But researchers from the University of Antwerp in Belgium found that alternatives to plastic straws are harmful to the body.

Studies have been conducted on straws made from paper, glass, bamboo, iron and plastic to see if they contain PFAS compounds. PFAS is an acronym for poly and perfluoroalkyl compounds which consists of over 12,000 chemicals that do not break down easily in nature. For this reason it is also known as "eternal chemistry" because it can last forever.

PFAS were found in 90% of paper straws tested. On bamboo straw it decreased to 80% of the tested samples. Interestingly, PFAS was found in plastic straws in 75% of the samples tested and 40% in glass straws. Only metal straws were found to be PFAS-free.

Researchers cannot be sure whether the presence of PFAS is due to contamination during the manufacturing process or because it is used in materials that make straws more waterproof. For sure using a paper straw is like escaping from the crocodile's mouth but entering the tiger's mouth. To save the turtles, the human body is contaminated by PFAS.

The long-term effects of PFAS have not been fully studied but contribute to a weakened immune system, kidney cancer, testicular cancer and thyroid problems.