Your Drinking Water May Pose Risks According to EPA Report on PFAS
The Environmental Protection Agency has updated its health risks for contaminants found in drinking water.
Two compounds, known as PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) and PFOS (Perfluorooctane Sulfonate), are part of the larger subset of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (or PFAS).
These have been labeled as “forever” chemicals that have proven very difficult to eradicate from public exposure.
According to the EPA, PFAS are described as “a group of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s because of their useful properties. There are thousands of different PFAS, some of which have been more widely used and studied than others.”
While PFOA and PFOS have been replaced by other PFAS in recent years, their threat to human health is still very prevalent.
Where can PFAS be found?
Not only are humans at risk, but because PFAS break down so slowly, they can build up in animals and the environment over time.
Along with contaminating drinking water, PFAS are also found in a handful of other places including:
- Food and food packaging.
- The air you breathe.
- Soil and water at or near waste sites.
- Household products such as cleaning products or non-stick cookware.
- Personal care products such as shampoo, dental floss and cosmetics.
- The manufacturing of plastic and rubber and in insulation for wiring.
- Fire extinguishing foam used in training and emergency response events at airports, shipyards, military bases, firefighting training facilities, chemical plants and refineries.
- Biosolids such as fertilizer from wastewater treatment plants that is used on agricultural lands.
What are the risks of PFAS?
As far as how those PFAS affect people’s health, they can have different effects depending on a host of factors such as age and exposure level.
Exposure to PFAS can lead to:
- Decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women.
- Increased risk of some cancers such as prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers.
- Increased cholesterol levels and a risk of obesity.
- Developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes.
- Reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections, including reduced vaccine response.
- Interference with the body’s natural hormones.
What is the EPA doing about PFAS and how can you avoid them?
The EPA does have a plan to remediate PFAS exposure that includes placing responsibility for limiting exposures on manufacturers and processors; harmonizing actions under all available statutory authorities to address PFAS contamination to protect people, communities, and the environment; and accelerating the deployment of treatment, remediation, destruction, disposal, and mitigation technologies for PFAS.
Even though the EPA has a plan in place to hopefully eliminate PFAS exposure and contamination, there are a few steps you can take as a consumer.
Your initial step toward staying away from these harmful contaminants is finding out if they are in your local drinking water supply.
Next, you can compare your results to your state’s standards for safe levels of PFAS in drinking water.
Lastly, and this is where Basin Water Solutions comes in, is you can institute a bevy of precautions and filters.
Your first option is a Whole House Water Filtration system and water softeners, which filter out and lessen the hardness of water. Measured in grains per gallon (GPG), hardness refers to the amount of dissolved magnesium and calcium in your water. Anything above 3 GPG is considered harmful to the home plumbing, appliances, water heaters, and fixtures. Furthermore, Chloramines are common disinfectants for drinking water, especially in industrial water. Water softeners will properly balance out the minerals and you won’t have to worry about Chloramines.
Basin Water Solutions also offers Water Treatment and Commercial Water Treatment that uses the latest integrated technologies to effectively remove iron and calcium, manganese, arsenic, heavy metal, fluoride, sulfide, nitrate and many other contaminants from water sources.
Finally, Reverse Osmosis can filter your water by getting tap water across a semipermeable membrane in order to get rid of any impurities that may be in the water. Furthermore, the process gets rid of salt and other inorganic solids by removing them from the solution. Chloramine, Chlorine, Fluoride, Pesticides, Nitrates, Sulfates and others are removed via Reverse Osmosis.
These methods are great options to clean and purify your water and Basin Water Solutions can install, repair, and maintain these systems with superior customer service.