In recent years, concerns about drinking water contamination have grown, with a spotlight on PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Often referred to as "forever chemicals," PFAS pose potential health risks and are notoriously challenging to remove from drinking water. In this blog post, we'll delve into what PFAS are, the long-term damage they can cause, why they're called "forever chemicals," how they find their way into drinking water, and most importantly, how you can take steps to eliminate them from your water supply.

Understanding PFAS

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals widely used in various industries for their water- and grease-resistant properties. Commonly found in products like non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, and firefighting foam, PFAS have unfortunately made their way into our water sources. 

Long-Term Damage from PFAS

    Studies have linked PFAS exposure to a range of health problems, including:

    • Cancer: PFAS has been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, including kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and thyroid cancer.
    • Liver damage: PFAS can damage the liver and lead to liver disease.
    • Immune system problems: PFAS can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight off infections.
    • Developmental problems: PFAS exposure can also lead to developmental problems in children, such as low birth weight and delayed growth.

    Hazmat crew


    Water-to-Go filters PFAS from drinking water.   Readers of this blog can get a 15% discount on Water-to-Go bottles. Use coupon code PFAS15 at checkout.


    Why Called Forever Chemicals?

    PFAS earned the nickname "forever chemicals" due to their persistent nature. These substances do not break down easily in the environment or in the human body, leading to long-term exposure even if the initial source is removed. This characteristic makes them particularly challenging to manage and eliminate.

    How do PFAS get into our drinking water?

    PFAS can enter our drinking water through a variety of sources, including:

    • Industrial contamination: PFAS are used in a wide range of industrial processes, and accidental spills and leaks can contaminate groundwater.
    • Landfills: PFAS can leach into groundwater from landfills.
    • Water treatment plants: Some water treatment plants are not equipped to remove PFAS from drinking water.
    • Household products: PFAS can be found in a variety of household products, such as nonstick cookware, stain repellents, and firefighting foam. These products can release PFAS into the environment.

    Abstract image of water

    Testing Your Water for PFAS

    • To address PFAS contamination in your drinking water, start by testing it for the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals. Many water testing laboratories offer PFAS screening services. If elevated levels are detected, it's crucial to take immediate action to safeguard your health.

    How to Remove PFAS from your Drinking Water

    There are a few different ways to remove PFAS from your drinking water:

    • Reverse osmosis: Reverse osmosis is the most effective way to remove PFAS from drinking water. It uses a semipermeable membrane to filter out contaminants, including PFAS.
    • Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters: GAC filters are also effective at removing some types of PFAS. However, they are not as effective as reverse osmosis.
    • Distillation: Distillation is another effective way to remove PFAS from drinking water. It involves boiling water and collecting the steam, which leaves behind the contaminants.

    Water-to-Go water filter bottles use three different methods to filter PFAS chemicals: physical restriction, electrostatic charge, and chemical binding. The physical restriction is composed of a glass mesh which has multiple layers to substantially increase the likelihood that a PFAS chemical will be filtered by the mesh. Each layer of the mesh is coated with electrostatic fibers which form hairlike projections on the mesh. The electrostatic positive charge acts like a magnet that attracts the negatively charged PFAS chemicals. Finally, powdered activated carbon is sprayed onto the mesh so PFAS chemicals can be chemically bound to the carbon. These three filtration methods combine to filter PFAS without sacrificing flow rate.

    Water to Go water filter bottle being filled at sink



    PFAS are a serious threat to public health. It is important to be aware of the risks of PFAS exposure and take steps to reduce your exposure. If you are concerned about PFAS in your drinking water, you can talk to your local water utility or purchase a home water filter. Protecting your drinking water from PFAS contamination requires a combination of individual action, awareness, and advocacy. By understanding the nature of PFAS, recognizing the potential long-term damage, and implementing effective water treatment methods, you can take significant steps to ensure the safety and quality of the water you and your loved ones consume. Remember, addressing the issue of PFAS contamination is not just about personal health; it's a collective effort to preserve clean and safe water for present and future generations.

    Additional resources:

    Remember, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your health or PFAS exposure.


    Water-to-Go filters PFAS from drinking water.   Readers of this blog can get a 15% discount on Water-to-Go bottles. Use coupon code PFAS15 at checkout.

    Written by Water to Go

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    RRMA Global on Jun 27, 2024

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