When you fill up a glass with water from your home’s tap, of course you should expect your water supplier has accounted for and eliminated harmful pollutants in the water well before the glass touches your lips. However, although many pollutants have been controlled over the years, one type, PFAS, has been woefully neglected.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of inorganic chemicals, including PFOS, PFOA, GenX, and a list of other substances that have been manufactured in the U.S. since World War II and are proven to be harmful to humans and animals. These chemicals have been used in commercially-treated products for their non-stick, water-repellent, and stain-resistant qualities, including non-stick pots and pans, textiles, carpets, and packaging materials, among many other goods. PFAS, specifically PFOS and PFOA, are persistent chemicals that do not break down and can accumulate in the body over long periods of exposure, increasing the risk of many adverse health effects.
Where We Find PFAS
Here are a few places where PFAS persist in the U.S. today:
Although most of these chemicals are no longer manufactured in America, they are still used internationally, and their infamous persistence in water, soil, and manufactured products still makes them a potential danger for America citizens. One of the largest concerns is contaminated drinking water in localized areas in the country where PFAS were once manufactured or used. GenX PFAS, specifically, have been found in groundwater, rainwater, surface water, drinking water, and even air emissions.
PFAS Health Hazards
There is convincing evidence that human exposure to these contaminants can prove harmful and, in some instances, fatal. Studies show that PFOS and PFOA can cause:
- Increased Cholesterol Levels
- Infant Weight Issues
- Immunological Problems
- Thyroid Hormone Disruption
What Can I Do?
As of October 2019, the Environmental Working Group (EWS) has found PFAS in over 1,000 locations (residential and commercial drinking water, military sites, airports, etc.), in 49 states, with high concentrations in the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and Great Lakes regions as well as in Southern California.
For those who live in and around San Diego and Los Angeles, it is important to take up any precautions to avoid exposure to these chemicals. The best way to prevent PFAS is to have a professional plumber from Carini install a high-quality whole-home water filter. Our experts can suggest the appropriate filter for your home and install the system correctly and efficiently.