PFAS - An exposure we did not choose: A blogpost

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/siteProfessional


After long winters in Europe, I anticipate spending my summer holidays in my motherland - sitting alongside the shores of Lake Victoria, eating fish, while enjoying quality time with family and friends. Nothing compares to a freshly caught tilapia fish, immediately tossed into the frying pan. One summer evening as I relished my meal, an article caught my eye titled Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the Ugandan waters of Lake Victoria. My heart skipped a beat. I could hardly believe that the Lake I considered pristine is contaminated.

PFAS or ‘forever chemicals’ is a group of over 4,700 toxic synthetic chemicals, generated by combining carbon and more than two fluorine atoms, to create the strongest, almost indestructible bond in organic chemistry. The researchers found PFASs in the Lake, rivers (Kagera and Sio), and the municipal tap water of Kampala, Jinja, and Entebbe. This is an exposure I did not choose. Neither did my family and all residents in the three major Ugandan cities. Suddenly, I felt a deep sense of purpose welling up in me. 10 days later, my passion was seamlessly weaved into my professional research work. Now, I dedicate my time to searching for inclusive and sustainable governance solutions to accelerate PFAS-free societal transitions.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputBlog
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2022


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