Many homeowners have concerns about potentially harmful substances in their drinking water. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) represent one category of materials that pose significant health risks. 

PFAS are a family of more than 14,000 chemicals that do not occur naturally. Known as “forever chemicals,” these materials never break down and can persist in the air, water, soil and even the human body for extended periods. Among the many medical conditions associated with PFAS exposure are liver damage, fertility issues, immune system disorders, thyroid disease and cancer. 

How Do Humans Consume PFAS? 

PFAS are commonly found in stain-resistant fabrics, food packaging materials, nonstick cookware and firefighting foams. Workers in industries that use these materials are vulnerable to PFAS exposure every day. 

While people can consume PFAS by eating foods such as fish, drinking tap water is the most common method of ingesting these materials. According to a United States Geographical Survey study, nearly half of the nation’s tap water could contain one or more PFAS. 

How to Avoid PFAS

The pervasiveness of PFAS requires taking aggressive steps to limit exposure to these harmful substances. Your food choices are one area to explore closely. Reduce consumption of fish and shellfish, and don’t heat food in packaging designed to resist grease. If you enjoy popcorn, purchase the kind you cook on a stove instead of using a microwaveable product stored in bags containing PFAS materials. 

Also, if you use PFAS-coated nonstick skillets or pans for cooking, replace them with glass, cast iron, stainless steel or ceramic products. 

Many everyday household products also contain PFAS — everything from umbrellas and mattress pads to dental floss. You can reduce your exposure by not purchasing products with labeling indicating they include stain- or water-repellent materials. Many rugs and carpets have PFAS, so check the manufacturer’s website to determine whether the products you may wish to purchase might contain them. 

How to Remove PFAS From Water at Home

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established limits on several PFAS in tap water, thousands of these forever chemicals remain in our water supply. While boiling your water can kill or inactivate several types of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, it will not eliminate PFAS and could even increase their concentration. 

Updated drinking water standards require all public water systems to test for six common PFAS. You can ask your state or water provider for its data. If you use well water, you’ll need to arrange for your own testing. 

Do Water Filters Remove PFAS?

If you want to remove PFAS from your home’s water supply, filtration can help reduce contamination levels. Two types of filters that can reduce and eliminate PFAS in drinking water are:

  • Reverse osmosis: A reverse osmosis (RO) water filter system provides a cost-effective PFAS elimination solution for household applications. The process uses pressure to propel tap water through a semi-permeable membrane, which removes the contaminants. RO filtration systems are affordable and simple to install. 
  • Granular activated carbon: These filters contain a porous activated carbon inner structure. The filtration process occurs via adsorption, which is the accumulation of charged particles in aqueous suspension on a charged surface. This method works well when removing longer-chain PFAS from a water supply. 

Atlantic Blue Water Services Can Help

Are you concerned about high PFAS levels in your water supply? If you’re in Maryland or Southern Pennsylvania, the water treatment experts at Atlantic Blue Water Services can help ensure your tap water is clean and contaminant-free. 

Our experienced water specialists will visit your home and conduct comprehensive testing and sampling to verify the existence of PFAS and other potentially harmful materials. We’ll then recommend and implement the most practical and cost-effective water filtration solution for your needs and budget. 

Learn more about the benefits of using filtration to remove PFAS from your water system. Submit our online form to request additional information or schedule our water testing service today.