What are PFAS? 

PFAS – formally known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are a large family of man-made chemicals that have been widely used since the 1940s, most commonly in non-stick cookware and food packaging, stain and water repellents, and firefighting foams.

Why are they a concern?

PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they resist degradation, and so they accumulate in the environment – and in your body – over time.

  • Potential health effects of exposure include:
  • Increased risk of testicular, prostate and kidney cancers
  • Decreased fertility and other reproductive effects
  • Developmental effects in children
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Abnormal hormone levels
  • Weakened immune system

How can you or your family be exposed?

People can be exposed to PFAS in a variety of ways, including normal use of household products, or eating food or drinking water contaminated with PFAS. 

Does your drinking water contain PFAS?

The only sure way to know is to have your drinking water tested at a certified laboratory. This is most important if you live near a fire training site, landfill, military base or industrial site, or if you have heard reports of local contamination. You can find certified labs on EPA’s website or by contacting the agency responsible for drinking water regulation in your state. Search your zip code to determine if your local water has been exposed.

PFAS are currently unregulated federally, although a proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation could be finalized by late 2023. Meanwhile, some states have enacted their own regulations. 

If PFAS are found in your water, what can you do?

Activated carbon filtration, reverse osmosis (RO) can reduce PFAS in your home’s drinking water. Look for products certified to standards NSF/ANSI 53 or NSF/ANSI 58 for PFAS reduction.

The effectiveness of each technology depends on how much and the type of PFAS found in your water and other factors, including what else is in your water that you might choose to treat. You’ll also need to determine if you want to treat your water at the Point of Use – such as a kitchen faucet or refrigerator water dispenser – or treat the entire water supply where the water enters your house (POE).

What does it mean when a product is “certified”? 

Product certification is a multi-step process for evaluating products against industry standards. Third-party certification offers peace of mind that the product has passed rigorous performance and quality assurance tests and will perform as advertised.

How do you find a water treatment professional you can trust? 

Water treatment professionals who are members of WQA have agreed to abide by a strict code of ethics that upholds the highest principles of honesty, integrity, fair dealing, and professionalism.