What does PFAS stand for?
Polyfluoroalkyl substances – known as PFAS – are manufactured chemicals that are ingredients in various everyday products. PFAS are chain molecules of carbon and fluorine bonds.
Carbon-fluorine bonds are very strong, and as a result, these are long-lasting chemicals that break down very slowly over time.
Where Are PFAS Found?
Due to their persistence in the environment, they are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world, and in the soil, air, and water. They are found in the blood of humans mostly due to the consumption of PFAS-contaminated water or food, using products made with PFAS, or breathing air containing PFAS.
PFAS are most often associated with industrial waste and from consumer products like GoreTex®, Teflon®, StainMaster® carpets, Scotchgard®, and other flame retardants and non-stick products.
PFAS chemicals are found in the coatings of food wrappers, stain-resistant furniture and carpets treated with Scotchgard, Stainmaster, and other fabric treatments, clothes labeled stain- or water-repellent, and even in personal care products and cosmetics.
What Are The Dangers of PFAS?
Exposure to PFAS has been associated with increased cholesterol levels, immune system changes, thyroid problems, increased chance of kidney, prostate, or testicular cancer, and developmental effects in children.
According to the Environmental Working Group, there is unreleased federal data suggesting that up to 110 million Americans could have PFAS-contaminated drinking water.
Unfortunately, many household filters are only partially effective at removing PFAS from drinking water. Reverse osmosis filters are most effective for filtering out PFAS.