WHAT ARE PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances)

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries since the 1940s.  Some of the more common commercial applications have been for products like Teflon, stain & waterresistant materials, paints, polishes, fire fighting foams (a major source of ground water pollution near airports, military bases and fire fighting training centers). These chemicals are being detected at dangerous levels in drinking water supplies around the country.

PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals do not break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects. As a result, these chemicals are no longer manufactured in the United States, but are still made in other countries and may be contained in products imported into the U.S.

HEALTH AFFECTS OF PFAS

There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. If humans,  or animals, ingest it (by eating or drinking food or water), they are absorbed, and can accumulate in the body. PFAS stay in the human body for long periods of time. As a result, as people get exposed from different sources over time, the level in their bodies may increase to the point where they suffer from adverse health effects.

Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animal studies. The most consistent findings from human epidemiology studies are increased cholesterol levels among exposed populations, with more limited findings related to infant birth weights and:

effects on the immune system,
cancer (for PFOA), and
thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS).

Note: see https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas for more detailed information.

REMOVAL OF PFAS

PFAS activated carbon

Activated Carbon, Point of Entry System

There are technologies effective in removing PFAS from drinking water, especially Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), which are the most studied of these chemicals. These technologies include activated carbon adsorption, ion exchange resins, and high-pressure membranes. see http://h2ocare.com/carbon-filtration.

PFAS reverse osmosis

Reverse Osmosis, Point of Use System

These technologies can be used in drinking water treatment facilities, in water systems in hospitals or individual buildings, or even in homes at the point-of-entry, where water enters the home, or the point-of-use, such as in a kitchen sink or a shower. See http://reverse-osmosis-ro-water-purification.