The Forever Pollution Project showed that “expert-reviewed journalism” can contribute not just to the information of the public, but also to scientific research and regulatory efforts.

Is there a ‘perfect recipe’ to work with scientists? As a conclusion to this journalism adventure based on the model of peer-reviewed scientific work, the Project’s methodology will soon be published in the form of an article in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology, where the journalists recorded their ideas about that. To build a trustful win/win work relationship with scientists, they observed the following principles are needed: 

“1) before anything else, journalists have to reach a high level of expertise about the topic and a good knowledge of the scientific ecosystem and customs to avoid time wasting, misunderstandings and errors; 

2) clearly stated boundaries regarding published outputs; 

3) the experts’ contributions have to be recognized in any final ‘products’; and 4) both parties should benefit from each discipline’s methodologies, such as press requests and [freedom of information] FOI material collected by journalists and [open-source intelligence] OSINT methods.”* 

*Quoted from our scientific paper.

As of March 2024, our data are being used in a dozen research projects, including a published spatial prediction of PFAS levels in EU soils by researchers at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), and research through the European Commission-funded project ARAGORN (Achieving Remediation And GOverning Restoration of contaminated soils Now).

In July 2023, a group of students at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Switzerland) used our data to produce a research report on “PFAS in Europe: A Violation of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights”

We have been invited in academic and expert circles to present our methodology, including:

  • 14th International HCH  (Lindane) & pesticides forum, Zaragoza (Spain) / online, 23 February 2023.
  • Side event of the United Nations’ Conference of the parties of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Geneva (Switzerland), 02 May 2023.
  • Health, environment, work: from data to evidence (Santé, environnement, travail : des données à la preuve), SciencesPo Lyon (France), 12 June 2023 
  • Annual meeting of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Global Soil Partnership International Network on Soil Pollution (INSOP), online, 14 June 2023.
  • Soil reuse on reconstruction sites in the new Circular Economy era – Available regulatory frameworks and case studies of PFAS-contaminated sites management, National Technical University of Athens (Greece), ENYDRON / Online, 1st September 2023.
  • Health and Environmental Alliance (Heal) 20th anniversary, Brussels (Belgium), 3 October 2023.
  • CAR-PFAS Japan, Fourth international seminar on the consortium for analysis and remediation of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances in Japan, online, 10 October 2023.
  • European Commission Annual Forum on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, Brussels (Belgium), 20 October 2023.
  • Tackling PFAS pollution & Launch Knowledge Center Innovative Remediation Solutions, Belgian presidency of the European Union, Government of Flanders, Antwerp (Belgium), 1-2 February 2024.
  • Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Global Forum on the Environment dedicated to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, Paris (France), 12 February 2024.
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