The EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, has released a new warning about PFAS. Certain PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, found in drinking water can pose a serious health risk. Even at low or undetectable levels, compounds in this family (of over 5,000 compounds in total) — like GenX, PFOA and PFOS — can cause physical problems.
What Are PFAS?
These nonstick, stain-resistant substances are also known as “forever chemicals,” due to their persistence. They rarely break down because their chemical bonds are so strong. And even if they do, such a slow process that they’re never really gone.
Where Can You Find PFAS?
Since the 1940s, there have been many household items that use PFAS compounds like GenX. This includes nonstick frying pans, water-repellant sports gear, rugs, firefighting foam, upholstery and cosmetics. Besides a limited number of ongoing uses, though, they’ve been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers at this point. However, they’ve already made their way into our environment, including our bodies of water.
Health Issues Associated With PFAS
When we drink water with PFAS in them, the PFAS can remain in our bloodstreams indefinitely. Health issues associated with exposure to PFAS like GenX, PFOA and PFOS include:
- Developmental effects in children (low birth weight, accelerated puberty).
- Increased risks for some cancers (prostate, kidney, testicular).
- Increased cholesterol levels and/or risk of obesity.
- Increased chance of liver disease.
- Reproductive effects (decreased fertility, birth defects).
- Reduced ability of the immune system to fight infections
What Are The New PFAS Guidelines?
The 2016 EPA guidelines stated that PFAS like PFOA and PFOS had health risk thresholds at 70 parts per trillion (meaning 70 parts of them for every one trillion parts of water). However, in 2022, the EPA issued new, nonbinding health advisories that amended that number to near zero. Additionally, the agency also set a health advisory for GenX chemicals for the first time at 10 parts per trillion.
The agency has invited states and territories to apply for a grant of $1 billion dollars to address harmful PFAS in their drinking water. Unfortunately, a process of this scope could take years to help turn things around in the United States.
How Do You Get Rid of PFAS like GenX Now?
Basic filtration systems, like those built into a fridge, cannot effectively deal with contaminants like these. Reverse osmosis water purification is the best way to remove PFAS chemicals/compounds and protect yourself and your family. Our K5 Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Station process has been recognized by the State of North Carolina, the Water Quality Association (WQA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a best-available technology to do so.
- 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 PFAS-free water in an accessible, chemical-free tank.
- Patented MACguard® Filter: 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.