PFAS is a family of man-made chemicals that have been used in manufacturing, commercial, and military activities. Though they are meant to decrease water damage and reduce the risk of fire outbreaks, they have been found to cause health effects such as blood disorders and cancer. Many states have set limits on what the levels of PFAS can be for drinking water emissions, with some regulating them at 25 parts per trillion (ppt). This article will tell you about this concern before you find yourself drinking water that contains illnesses with PFAS contamination.
PFASs are a class of chemicals that have been widely used in manufacturing and industrial products, as well as other applications. PFASs are now also being studied for their potential human health effects, including concerns about their potential role in causing cancer.
An increasing amount of research is linking the contamination of PFAS in drinking water has adverse health effects, including a high risk of cancer. In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began investigating whether certain PFASs might be hazardous to human health. The EPA has classified some PFASs as “possible human carcinogens” based on evidence that they can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
Since 2012, many municipal water systems have been testing for PFASs and reporting any levels that exceed federal safety limits. As of January 2019, over 600 water systems had detected PFAS levels above the EPA’s recommended safe level. Many people who live near these water systems are concerned about the potential health risks associated with exposure to these chemicals.
If you think your drinking water may be contaminated with PFAS, you should talk to your doctor or environmental health scientist. You can also contact your local water provider to ask about their testing and reporting procedures.
What is PFAS?
Public concern about potential health risks from PFAS chemicals has increased because these substances have been detected in drinking water in many places around the United States. PFAS are a family of chemicals that contain two perfluoroalkyl groups (PFs). Exposure to PFASs can cause cancer, birth defects, and other adverse health effects.
PFOS and PFOA are the most commonly detected PFAS in water. These compounds have been linked to health problems in humans, including cancers, higher cholesterol levels, liver damage, and thyroid problems. In 2017, EPA determined that both PFOS and PFOA are likely carcinogens and proposed regulations requiring companies to reduce their exposure to these compounds.
PFASs can contaminate drinking water through several pathways: discharge into waterways from manufacturing or other activities; release from the soil during agricultural production; release from foam rubber products; breaking down into toxic byproducts when exposed to the environment, and absorption through the skin or ingestion. The most common sources of PFAS contamination in the United States are firefighting foam used before 2000 for training military personnel and industrial materials such as Teflon.
To date, much research on the toxicity of PFASs has been conducted in laboratory animals or cells rather than people. However, studies using human cells or tissues have suggested that PFASs may be harmful at very low exposures. For example, studies in mice suggest that PFOA may promote cancer development. Studies also show that high levels
Drinking PFAS Contaminated Water
PFASs are chemicals that have been used in various applications, including water treatment and manufacturing. There is growing concern over the potential for PFASs to leach from these applications into drinking water supplies. In recent years, there have been several studies linking PFAS contamination of water to health concerns, including increased risks for cancer and other diseases.
Here are few things you should know about PFAS contamination and PFOS in drinking water:
- PFASs can contaminate water supplies through several routes: surface contamination from industrial releases, soil erosion and transfer into waterways, and bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms.
- More than 1,000 human studies have linked exposure to PFASs with health concerns, including increases in rates of cancer and other diseases.
- In 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated two types of PFASs as known human carcinogens: PFOA and PFOS. These two types of PFASs are examples of a class of chemicals called perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). PFCs can persist in the environment and accumulate in animal tissues over time; they also have demonstrated effects on reproductive systems in animals.
- In 2018, EPA released a draft report evaluating the risks posed by PFC exposure across all age groups both indoors and outdoors. The report found that people living close to sites where PFCs were formerly manufactured or used were
The Basics of Drinking Water Safety
PFAS or PFOA are chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health problems. They can be found in water, air, soil, and food. PFAS have been phased out of many products but they continue to be found in drinking water.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your drinking water is safe:
- filter your water using a filter that removes both PFAS and toxins like lead and arsenic
- Drink unfrozen or distilled water if possible.
- Bottle or can water for consuming on-the-go.
- Avoid using municipal water if possible – look for bottled or treated water options instead.
What is Consumed from the ground?
PFASs are a type of persistent, man-made environmental pollutant. PFASs can be found in many common products and materials, such as clothing, flooring, paper products, and plastics. They can also be found in the environment and people.
PFASs are known to cause health problems, including cancer, reproductive problems, and thyroid abnormalities. In addition to these effects directly from exposure to PFASs, the chemicals can also damage ecosystems and wildlife.
The most commonly consumed PFASs are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS). PFOA is known to harm the immune system and has been detected in both human blood and breast milk. PFOS is particularly harmful because it can accumulate in the body over time. It has been linked with reduced birth weight in babies, increased cholesterol levels, adrenal gland problems, impaired thyroid function, developmental issues in young children, and lower sperm counts.
PFAS Standards in US State
Each state has different standards for PFAS contamination and PFOS in drinking water. In many cases, the highest standard is more stringent than the federal standard.
The main PFAS compounds found in drinking water are PFOA and PFOS. PFOA is often found at lower levels than PFOS, but both are toxins that can cause health problems. Here's a look at each state's standards:
- New York: The state has the most stringent standard for both substances, requiring that any level of PFOA or PFOS be below 50 parts per trillion (ppt) in drinking water.
- Massachusetts: The state has a standard of 10 ppt for PFOA and 100 ppt for PFOS. However, because the federal government sets the drinking water safety guideline at 70 ppb, Massachusetts' standards are considered stricter.
- Rhode Island: The state has a standard of 5 ppt for PFOA and 20 ppt for PFOS. This is less stringent than Massachusetts' standard but still stricter than the federal safety limit of 70 ppb.
- Vermont: The state doesn't have any specific regulations on PFAS levels in drinking water, but recommends that water sources below 10 ppt be avoided because of potential health risks.
- California: Water sources in California must meet a safety limit of 70 ppb for both PFOA and PFOS to be
Who Is Involved with PFAS Standards & Regulations?
When it comes to PFAS contamination and pollution, who is responsible? In the United States, PFAS chemicals are largely regulated by the EPA. The Agency sets safety levels for these substances and oversees the implementation of strict manufacturing, waste treatment, and disposal standards. The EPA also develops domestic guidelines for protecting public health.
PFAS manufacturers must follow specific guidelines when creating products that contain PFAS chemicals. These manufacturers must test their products using standardized methods to ensure they comply with safety thresholds set by the EPA.
PFOS manufacturers have a more complicated regulatory landscape than PFAS producers. Unlike PFAS producers, who must follow EPA guidelines, PFOS manufacturers are not subject to federal regulations. Rather, PFOS manufacturers are subjected to state laws and regulations that may be more stringent than those of the EPA. For example, California has stricter exposure limits for PFOS than the EPA.
The regulating bodies responsible for PFAs in Europe are slightly different from those in the United States. In Europe, many of the same agencies that regulate PFAS such as car exhausts, are also responsible for regulating PFAs (EPA). Additionally, many European countries have developed domestic guidelines specific to PFAs which must be followed by companies producing or importing these substances into their countries.