PFAS, PFOA, and PFOS are commonly known as "forever chemicals” because they do not degrade easily. They are also persistent, found in the soil, air, water, and even food. PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoralkyl substances, are a category of persistent, human-made chemicals used widely in consumer goods and certain manufacturing processes. Among the multitude of chemicals within this group, PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) are two of the most prevalent in the United States.
PFOA and PFOS were extensively used in the production of numerous consumer products and industrial commodities. These PFAS are now recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as contaminants of concern. In an updated health advisory from June 15, 2022, the EPA notes that there may still be potential health risks for PFOA and PFOS in water, even at levels that are near zero.
Before the ban on PFAS in the U.S., these chemicals were employed in a range of household and industrial products and may still be found in products imported into the U.S., including non-stick cooking utensils, paints, stain guards, firefighting foam, and certain cardboard and paper products.
Kinetico Quality Water of SW Idaho installs, repairs, and maintains a wide range of residential and commercial water treatment systems designed to remove PFAS, PFOA, and PFOS from your drinking water. If you are concerned about your water supply, contact our team today.
This widespread presence of PFOA and PFOS means that the chances of exposure are high. Prolonged exposure can lead to growth and development issues, reproductive difficulties, and liver damage, according to the CDC.
Despite being recognized as emerging contaminants, there are no current regulations for these chemicals in water supplies. The EPA has issued a health advisory, but this is not enforceable, meaning water suppliers aren't obligated to meet any standards, and because PFOA and PFOS can build up over time, their removal from water supplies on a large scale poses significant challenges.
Both ground and surface water supplies can be affected, particularly in areas where PFOA and PFOS were produced or used in industrial or consumer products. Groundwater can become polluted by soil and air contamination, while surface water can be contaminated when chemicals from manufacturing facilities enter a water source directly. Water supplies can also be polluted by wastewater from cleaning items made using PFOS and PFOA chemicals.
While the challenge of removing PFAS from water supplies is significant due to their persistence, water treatment technologies exist that can reduce PFAS levels in drinking water.
Hard WaterHard water contains dissolved calcium, and in many cases, iron.
Cloudy WaterCloudy water is usually caused by dissolved or suspended solids.
Chlorine Taste & SmellChlorine is vital for stopping the spread of disease, though pricey.
Tastes & Odors
If your water tastes or smells funny, you owe it to yourself to find out why.
Iron & Manganese StainingYour water can contain iron or manganese, get your water test now!
Blue-Green StainingIf water has a low pH, you can see the tell-tale, blue-green stains.
If you suspect your home's water might be compromised, the most reliable way to confirm this is through professional water testing.
If your residence is supplied by municipal water, reach out to your local utility provider and inquire about the potential presence of PFAS. As a customer, you have the right to request a comprehensive water quality report detailing any detected contaminants in your supply. Additionally, ask if they have implemented any measures to treat PFAS contamination. Some providers may offer assistance or alternative options if they aren't currently treating the water for PFAS.
If your household relies on a private well, the responsibility of ensuring water quality falls upon you. Therefore, it's crucial to have your water professionally tested to identify suitable treatment options.
Eliminating PFAS from Water Supplies
To effectively mitigate PFAS in your home or business’s water, consider installing a water treatment system. The EPA has identified three treatment technologies that are successful in reducing PFAS concentrations in drinking water - reverse osmosis, activated carbon filtration, and ion exchange. Products like the Kinetico K5 Drinking Water Station® are designed to decrease levels of PFOS and PFOA in water.
To learn more about eliminating PFAS, PFOA, and PFOS from your drinking water, call Kinetico Quality Water of SW Idaho at (208) 759-4880.
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