PFAs in drinking water
PFAs are chemicals that have been used in products since the 1940s. There are thousands of different kinds of PFAs. The two most popularly used in the United States are Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluoro Octane Sulfonate (PFOS).
These chemicals can be found in:
- Drinking water- Mostly found in public drinking fountains and water wells.
- Food- commonly found in fish and dairy products.
- Household items – can be found on clothes, cleaning products, paints, carpets, cookware, etc.
- Personal products – shampoo, cosmetics, etc.
Exposure to these chemicals can be very harmful to our health. Some harmful effects from high exposure to these chemicals include infertility, increased risk of cancer, and increased cholesterol. A blood test can be used to see if someone has been exposed to PFAs. It, however, will not tell you how much you have been exposed too. People can be exposed in many ways. You can be affected by drinking water or eating food that contains PFAs. You can also be affected by breathing air or swallowing soil that has been contaminated.
If you are worried about PFAs in your drinking water, you can have it tested to ensure your safety. Some states now test all their public water systems for PFAs. This does not include privately owned water companies. PFAs can be filtered out using home appliances. Using a filter that connects to your sink or water pitcher are commonly used ways to remove harmful things from drinking water. You can also have a reverse osmosis system installed in your kitchen.