Chemicals In Drinking Water – PFOA, PFOS and PFAS

Posted on 09. Dec, 2019 by in All Blogs, Contaminants, Drinking Water Systems

chemicals in drinking water

The EPA recently released information about a growing health concern in our drinking water. Man-made chemicals called PFAS. PFAS stands for “Per and Polyflouroalkyl Substances.”

Sound scary? They can be. What are They, Exactly?

  • PFOA is Perfluorooctanoic Acid
  • PFOS is Perfluorooctane Sulfonate
  • PFAS is a “catch-all” name that includes PFOA and PFOS

How Am I Exposed To These Chemicals?

PFAS are everywhere, in the soil, the products we use and even the food we eat. They have even been found in drinking water supplies. The EPA estimates that almost all the people in the US have been exposed to PFAS.

Food:

  • Chemicals can be absorbed by crops through contaminated soil and/or water
  • Packaging containing PFAS can contaminate food
  • Industry tools contaminated with PFAS can pass them onto food during production
  • Consumption of meat products where animals were exposed to PFAS

Water:  

  • Runoff from facilities utilizing PFAs
  • Runoff from firefighting foam

Products:

  • Huge number of different products today contain PFAS!
  • Consumer Packaging
  • Flame-Retardant coatings
  • Nonstick coatings
  • Waterproof Coatings
  • Stain Repellent Coatings
  • Cleaners
  • Waxes, Paints and Polishes

Industry:

  • Facilities using or creating products containing PFAS
  • Large scale fire containment (such as Airports)

What are the Health Risks?

Studies done in laboratory animals have shown that once absorbed, these chemicals can linger in the body for very long periods of time. They have been linked to a variety of health issues, including:

  • Low Infant Birth Weights
  • Immune System Problems
  • Thyroid Hormone Product
  • Cancer

How do I Keep Myself Safe?

For more information, please visit the EPA’s website.

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