First thing’s first, we’re answering the question that’s on everyone’s minds:
What are PFAS?
PFAS are Pre- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances, which is a group of man-made chemicals that have properties that allow them to be resistant to water, oil, grease, and heat. PFAS contain carbon, fluorine, and other elements. PFAS include PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS are used in a variety of industries around the world.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are very persistent in the environment and even in our bodies- this means that they don’t break down and can accumulate over time.
Individuals can be exposed to PFAS in the following ways:
- Food: Food can be packaged in materials that contain PFAS, processed with equipment that used PFAS, and grown in soil or water that have been contaminated with PFAS.
- Commercial household products: PFAS can be found in stain- and water repellent fabrics, nonstick products (ex. Teflon pans), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and fire-fighting foams, and more.
- Workplaces: Production facilities or industries that use PFAS (ex. Chrome plating, electronic manufacturing, and oil recovery).
- Drinking water: This is usually localized and associated with specific facilities (ex. Manufacturers, landfills, wastewater treatment plants, firefighter training facilities). It is estimated that the drinking water supply for at least 16 million people is contaminated with PFAS.
- Living organisms: Fish and animals can be exposed to PFAS which have the ability to build up and persist over time.
Why are PFAS important?
As we mentioned above, PFAS are found in lots of consumer products. Most people are exposed to PFAS which can stay in the body and accumulate over time.
According to the EPA, there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health affects in humans.
The most studied PFAS are PFOA and PFOS. These studies have shown that PFOA and PFOS had reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. These chemicals also caused tumors in the animals. The most consistent findings were increased cholesterol levels, with more limited findings related to:
- Low infant birth rates
- Effects on immune system
- Cancer (for PFOA)
- Thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS)
What’s the difference? PFOA vs. PFOS vs. GenX vs. other replacement PFAS
PFAS are found in consumer products like cookware, food packaging and stain repellants. PFAS are commonly found in manufacturing and processing facilities, airports, and military installations that use firefighting foams. PFAS can also be released into the air, soil, and water, including drinking water.
PFOA and PFOS are being phased out by most industries but remain persistent in the environment.
GenX is a trade name for a technology that is used to make high performance Fluoropolymers (ex. some non-stick coatings) without the use of PFOA. HFPO dimer acid and its ammonium salt are the major chemicals that are associated with GenX technology. GenX chemicals have been found in surface water, groundwater, finished drinking water, rainwater, and air emissions in some areas.
Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) has been used as a replacement chemical for PFOS. PFBS has been identified in environmental media and consumer products, including surface water, wastewater, drinking water, dust, carpeting and carpet cleaners, and floor wax.
How to find out if PFAS are in your drinking water
To find out if your water is contaminated with PFAS, The Water Quality Association (WQA) recommends that you contact your state for a list of laboratories that are certified to test PFAS using EPA Method 537.
You can also search online for EPA Certified Labs for drinking water testing.
You’ve found PFAS present in your drinking water, now what?
If you’ve had your water tested for PFAS and found that they are present in your drinking water, you’re probably wondering “What water filter systems remove PFAS?”. Have no fear, we’re here to help.
The water treatment technologies listed below have been independently tested to show that they are capable of removing PFAS from drinking water in your home:
Home Water Filters PFAS:
- Activated carbon filtration
- Reverse Osmosis (RO)
- Anion Exchange Treatment
Best home water filters for PFAS:
Propur Inline Connect Water Filtration System
The Propur PM-FS10 Inline Connect Water Filter System features ProMax Full Spectrum Hybrid Filter Technology for powerful filtration. This water filter system reduces over 220 contaminants including VOCs, lead, Fluoride, PFOA, PFOS, heavy metals, pesticides, SVCs, disinfectants, inorganic non-metallics, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and micro-organisms. This system is installed under-counter inline with your cold-water supply.
Propur Inline Connect Water Filter System
Propur Dual-Stage Countertop System
The Propur PMC-3002 Dual-Stage Countertop System includes a 5-mircon pleated pre-sediment filter which helps protect your new Propur filtration system from sediment that is common with aging water supply pipes. This dual-stage system reduces and/or removes a broad range of contaminants including VOCs, lead, fluoride, PFOA, PFOS, heavy metals, pesticides, SVCs, disinfectants, inorganic non-metallics, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and microplastics. It has also tested to NSF/ANSI- 42 & 53 standards and is ideal for most city water and well water.
Propur Dual-Stage Countertop System
Propur Dual-Stage Undercounter System
The Propur PMC-4002 Dual-Stage Undercounter System also includes a 5-mircon pleated pre-sediment filter which helps protect your new Propur filtration system from sediment that is common with aging water supply pipes. This dual-stage system reduces and/or removes a broad range of contaminants including VOCs, lead, fluoride, PFOA, PFOS, heavy metals, pesticides, SVCs, disinfectants, inorganic non-metallics, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and microplastics. It has also tested to NSF/ANSI- 42 & 53 standards and is ideal for most city water and well water.
Propur Dual-Stage Undercounter System with Faucet
Propur Dual-Stage Undercounter System without Faucet
What other water filter systems remove PFAS?
The WQA recommends looking for carbon filtration or reverse osmosis products that are NSF/ANSI 53 (for filters) or NSF/ANSI 58 (for RO Systems) for PFOA and PFOS removal. These certifications indicate that these products have been tested to industry standards to verify they remove PFOA and PFOS down to 70 ppt.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Systems
Reverse Osmosis can remove up to 99% of impurities from tap water and could be the solution you’re looking for. If you’re interested in learning more about RO Systems check out our blog where we go into detail about what Reverse Osmosis Systems are.
Carbon Filters for Whole House Water Filter Systems
If you have a Whole Home Water Filter System or are interested in installing one in your home, we carry a wide selection of activated carbon water filters.
Does ZeroWater Filter Remove PFAS?
ZeroWater’s 5-stage filtration system is certified to reduce lead, PFOA, PFOS, and other contaminants.
Pitcher Water Filters That Remove PFAS
How to avoid PFAS
If you’ve identified that your water source is contaminated with PFAS, take action now by investing in a home water filtration that is certified to reduce PFOA and PFOS in water.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there is no scientific evidence to support avoiding certain foods because of concerns of exposure to PFAS. However, they do recommend that consumers eat a varied, well balanced diet.
If you have any questions regrading PFAS and water filtration, please leave us a comment. We’re happy to help!
EcoBlueLife.com is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on FiltersFast.com