What is it????
Its a emerging chemical found in water sources and many daily used items. Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances other wise know as PFAS. They are used in everything from carpets to non stick cookware(teflon) to grease resistant papers(fast food containers/wrappers, microwave pop corn bags, pizza boxes, candy wrappers) to personal care products (shampoo, dental floss, cosmetics) to firefighting foams.
Are they regulated?
No. Currently the entire class of PFAS is unregulated by the Federal Government. Which means the EPA cannot require the municipalities to test for it let alone treat it. Recently the EPA established health advisory levels for PFOA and PFOS, but these levels are not enforceable.
Health Effects of PFAS:
PFAS primary accumulate in the serum, lungs, kidney, liver, and brain. A recent review from the CDC outlines the health effects from PFAS exposure
Fertility and pregnancy outcomes
Increased risk of asthma
PMC PubMed Central
How are humans exposed to it:
- Consumption of contaminated drinking water
- Consumption of fish and shellfish that may contain PFAS through bioaccumulation
- Industrial exposure to workers who manufacture PFAS
- Air (both indoor and outdoor)
- Maternal to fetal transfer in utero
- Formula Fed infants (water used to mixed the formula and the formula itself)
How to remove it:
The best way to remove it is with a good whole home filtration system or a good point of use filtration system that utilizes a GAC (granulated activated charcoal) or a Catalytic Carbon filter.
Reverse osmosis or distilled water is the best way to guarantee that all PFAS contaminants are removed from the homes drinking water.
Pitcher filters and fridge filters have been proven to remove a small bit of the contaminant but can not successfully remove the entire thing. Most pitcher and fridge filters are only rated to NSF 42 standards (removes chlorine, debris, taste and smell) when looking for a good filter you want to look for ones with the NSF 53 rating on it.