Everything You Need to Know About Forever Chemicals (PFAS)
They’re called many things: PFAS, perfluoroalkyl, polyfluoroalkyl, perfluorinated chemicals, polyfluorinated compounds. Whatever they’re referred to, “forever chemicals” have gained notoriety for good reason. Research has shown that this group of 4,000+ chemical compounds can affect the earth and people alike. Let’s get into them, their effects on the body and how to eliminate them.
What Are PFA Chemicals Used For?
If something is nonstick, stain-resistant or waterproof, chances are it’s made with PFAS. This includes anything with a fluoropolymer coating (like Teflon and GORE-TEX).
Home-based and commercial products made with PFAS can include:
- Food packaging
- Electrical wire insulation
- Fire-fighting foam
Where Are PFAS Found?
While they’re great for products, PFAS compounds don’t break down in the environment (hence the “forever” part). This can have a lot of harmful implications, including:
- Affecting water supplies across the USA (North Carolina in particular is a hotspot).
- Getting into/harming animals and humans (via water, food and more) and plants (via the soil).
What Are The Effects from PFA Chemical Exposure?
Drinking water with them is the main way PFAS chemicals get into our bodies. While slight traces are okay, studies have determined that long-term exposure can be harmful. The current limits recommended by the EPA are 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for total PFAS and 10 ppt for individual PFAS.
Even at very low concentrations, health risks include:
- Developmental effects in children (low birth weight, accelerated puberty, etc.)
- Increased risks for some cancers (prostate, kidney, testicular, etc.).
- Increased cholesterol levels and/or risk of obesity.
- Increased chance of liver disease.
- Reproductive effects (decreased fertility, birth defects, etc.).
- Reduced ability of the immune system to fight infections
How Do You Get Rid of PFAS?
Reverse osmosis is the best way to deal with PFAS chemicals/compounds. Kinetico’s 5 Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Station has recognition with the State of North Carolina, the Water Quality Association (WQA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a preferred technology for removing PFAS.
- 5-micron sediment pre-filter: Removes any fine particles and includes carbon filtration.
- RO membrane module: Made with a patented rinsing feature that extends its life.
- Non-corrosive storage: Stores PFAFS-free water in an accessible, chemical-free tank.
- Patented MACguard FilterTM: Reduces PFAS, chlorine and unpleasant tastes/odors.
- The PureMometerTM: Visible indicator for estimating the life left on the filter.
- Flex Filtration: Deals with problem contaminants like arsenic and viruses.