PFAS Exposed: Safeguarding Your Health with Purified Water
by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated July 27, 2023
PFAS have been continuously reported to contaminate water sources across the country. Also referred to as “forever chemicals,” these chemicals are found in our everyday items like nonstick pans, food packaging, and even waterproof jackets. The Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) has also reported that these chemicals are found in the bodies of 97% of the American population.
What Are PFAS?
PFAS or Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances are a group of artificial chemicals used extensively in producing different consumer and industrial products. Since the 1940s, manufacturers have leveraged the grease and water-resistant properties of these chemicals in the production of non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, stain-resistant fabrics, firefighting foams, food packaging, and more.
PFAS are also popular for their capability to last long in the environment. They are not broken down by natural processes, which explains why they are called “forever chemicals.” Their longevity also means they can persist in water, soil, and even the bodies of humans and animals for years. The increasing persistence and application of PFAS also come with the risk of possible adverse effects on the environment and human health.
As of June 2022, the alarming contamination of PFAS has been confirmed in a staggering 2,858 locations across all 50 states and two territories in the U.S. The situation highlights the urgent need for action to address and mitigate the growing impact of these hazardous substances on communities nationwide. You can click the image to access the interactive map, which shows the dynamic locations of PFAS contamination.
What Are the Health Risks Associated with PFAS Exposure?
PFAS in the human body can illicit many significant health risks. For example, drinking water contaminated by PFAS or “forever chemicals” accumulates these chemicals in the body over time, which may affect the body negatively.
Here are some of the health risks associated with PFAS exposure;
Exposure of Organs to Risk
Exposing the body to PFAS-contaminated water for a long time often puts organs in the body at varying degrees of risk. Organs usually affected include the liver, thyroid, and the overall immune system. The exposure is also a common precursor to certain cancers, including testicular and kidney cancers.
Reproductive and Developmental Deficiencies
Exposing a pregnant woman to PFAS can affect fetal development adversely, with particular impacts on the development of the immune system, developmental milestones, and birth weight. In addition, exposure to PFAS can also alter reproductive health negatively, translating to hormonal regulation and fertility problems.
Studies have shown that PFAS chemicals interfere with the smooth operation of the endocrine system, which is responsible for hormonal regulation in the human body. The disruption in operation can cause hormonal imbalances, thus adversely impacting essential bodily functions like growth and metabolism.
Impact on Children
Children are also vulnerable to the health risks associated with exposure to PFAS. The young developing bodies of children tend to be less tolerant to the accumulation of these chemicals. Therefore, even minimal impacts can have long-lasting and extensive adverse effects on their well-being.
Immune System Suppression
The immune system gets weak due to prolonged exposure to PFAS-contaminated water. The accumulation reduces the natural ability of the body to fight diseases and infections, putting such individuals at a greater risk of illnesses.
Considering the possible health risks involved with exposure to PFAS-contaminated water, homeowners must strive to put measures in place to protect their drinking water and, in turn, their families. These include testing and monitoring water regularly and adopting suitable water filtration systems.
Can PFAS Be Removed from Water Through Filtration?
Yes, water filtration can get rid of PFAS in water. Studies have shown different filtration methods to reduce PFAs to safe levels in water effectively.
Activated carbon filtration is one of the most commonly used techniques to remove PFAS from water. The porous structure of activated carbon traps and adsorbs PFAS molecules, effectively reducing their presence in the water.
Another effective filtration method is reverse osmosis, which uses a semipermeable membrane to separate contaminants from water. Reverse osmosis has demonstrated high efficiency in removing PFAS, making it an excellent choice for treating water contaminated with these chemicals.
Homeowners can also consider ion exchange resins and granular activated carbon as filtration options to combat PFAS contamination. These techniques can remove specific PFAS compounds, offering a more streamlined and effective treatment.
Although filtration has been established to reduce PFAS levels significantly in water, it is essential to maintain and monitor the filtration systems closely to ensure they remain effective over time. PFAS treatment technologies will continue to evolve based on the increasing understanding of these chemicals and how they work. Therefore, homeowners can rest assured that they will always find an effective way to provide safer drinking water for their households.
How Effective Are Waterdrop Filters in Removing PFAS?
An effective way of ensuring that your drinking water does not contain harmful contaminants is to filter it directly from the source. Waterdrop filtration systems can ensure your water is filtered and the PFAS reduced before consumption.
PFOA and PFOS are two of the PFAS substances which are relatively more widely used compared to others. The public has a higher level of concern regarding these two chemicals, and testing primarily focuses on PFOA and PFOS. You can click here to check the full report.
Waterdrop G3P600 Tankless Reverse Osmosis System
The 600 GPD RO system has an NSF/ANSI 372 certification for containing lead-free materials and an NSF/ANSI 58 for TDS reduction. Besides, this system is able to effectively reduces the amount and concentration of harmful substances like PFAS, carbofuran, alachlor, and chloroform in the water to permissible limits as specified in NSF standards. This ensures that the water you drink is safe and healthy.
Waterdrop G3P800 Tankless Reverse Osmosis System
If you have a big family, Waterdrop’s G3P800 under-sink RO system could be your best choice. It is an impressive unit boasting a remarkable daily capacity of 800 gallons. This high-performance system holds several prestigious certifications, such as NSF/ANSI Standard 58, ensuring effective TDS reduction, and NSF 372 certification, guaranteeing the use of lead-free materials.
Waterdrop N1 Countertop RO Water Dispenser
The Waterdrop N1 RO system stands out as a preferred option due to its exceptional filtration capabilities and remarkably low energy consumption. What sets it apart from traditional under sink systems is its convenient flexibility - it can be placed anywhere near an electrical socket, eliminating the need for complex installation and water line connections.
Waterdrop K6 RO Instant Hot Water Dispenser
The Waterdrop K6 offers advanced multistage filtration with a 5-in-1 efficient filter unit, ensuring the reduction of various contaminants. Its user-friendly smart display faucet provides real-time information, while the step-less temperature change feature allows for filtered hot water on demand (104℉ to 203℉). With best-in-class safety measures, including internal water purification monitoring, Child Lock, and overheating protection, the K6 guarantees purified and safe hot water for various uses.
Zero TDS 10-cup Pitcher Water Filter
This 10-cup water filter pitcher offers innovative filtration technology for 0-TDS water. Its 5-stage filtration system effectively reduces contaminants like fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, and odors, ensuring a pure drinking experience. The pitcher’s BPA-free, lead-free materials prioritize your safety.
To Wrap Up
The widespread contamination of these harmful substances is a pressing concern that demands immediate attention. Understanding the impact of PFAS and the significance of consuming clean water is crucial for safeguarding your health. By being aware of PFAS’s impact and taking proactive measures to invest in the right water filtration system, you can minimize exposure risks and protect your family from the so-called “forever chemicals”.