Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manmade chemicals that repel both water and oil. There are different types of PFAS and their properties from one another. The level of toxicity is different for each type, but all of them are proven to be harmful.
Several studies conducted by the Environmental Working Group have found that PFAS chemicals are found in public water systems across the US. They make their way into the water from factories where it is used.
PFAS are found in a wide range of consumer products, where its purpose is to make the product water or oil repellant. Products that have PFAS include carpets, non-stick pans, clothing, waxes, polishes, paints, food packaging, etc. Due to its wide use in consumer products, it is now present in the environment and in manmade waste, from where it can find its way into nearby waterlines and streams. Since PFAS are water soluble, they are not easily filtered out. Advanced technology brings to us several water filtration systems that can filter out PFAS. Let’s discuss in detail what PFAS are and how they can be removed from water.
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The most commonly found PFAS in water are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). According to one of the recent reports published by the Environmental Working Group, about 74 public water systems in California are contaminated with highly toxic elements, including PFAS chemicals. Furthermore, there have been signs of contamination in North Carolina, Michigan, and New York. The reason behind this contamination is the excessive manufacturing and distribution of consumer products, including clothing and food packaging in which PFAS chemicals are used.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) further mentioned that more than 40% of the systems across America were contaminated from PFOA and PFOS chemicals. In fact, at the beginning of this year, roughly 19 million people were estimated to be exposed to such toxic chemicals in drinking water. The EPA found PFAS chemicals in drinking water of 43 states. The EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have repeatedly warned humans and animals against exposure to these toxic chemicals and their health hazards.
The drinking water systems in Michigan were hit the hardest in 2014, after which a number of health problems were reported, including fertility, hormonal imbalance, and high cholesterol levels. GenX (aka HFPO-DA) is another chemical that has replaced PFOA in laptops, food packaging, wrappers, cell phones, and other appliances. Since it is comparatively new, there is no standard water regulation issued by the EPA yet, but the health risks and safety issues associated with it are identified.
Since PFAS chemicals are used commercially, they are found near factories and industries. Firefighters and the military also use them in their fire-suppressing foam. Humans and animals are exposed to them as these chemicals enter the water lines near the industrial areas. PFAS are disposed of in these areas, from where they find their way into public water systems, wells, soil, and even the air.
It can contaminate groundwater and surface water in areas where product manufacturing, packaging or any sort of fire operation has taken place. They make their way from the water lines into home taps and drinking water. Since they cannot be seen or tasted, it is very difficult to remove them.
If you are living in an area where PFAS contaminated water is present, consider getting a water filtration system that removes contaminants. Remember to not boil water as boiling concentrates the chemicals and may have adverse health effects.
Many individuals that live in areas near industries or factories tend to switch to bottled water to avoid exposure. However, the best solution is to opt for an NSF certified water filter that removes all contaminants and gives you and your family clean water right away.
Founded in 1944, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is a US-based organization that was built to improve human health standards in. It does this by regulating the use of food, water, and consumer products to maintain and protect health standards.
For this reason, all commercially produced appliances need to acquire a NSF certification. The certificate assures consumers that the device is authorized for commercial use. Also that it’s been properly assessed by the authorities and deemed to be safe for food and water consumption.
Every PFAS filter product examined by NSF meet the health effects standards of NSF/ANSI 60. The administration board ensures that the PFAS water filters don’t contain harmful levels of fluoride, arsenic, or lead contamination. Therefore, whenever you’re purchasing a new water filter system or other kitchen appliances to regulate PFAS water, make sure that it meets the NSF standards.
The first thing we can do is to request the municipal water committee to send yearly reports of how much fluoride they added to your water. It’s an accurate way to track and detect anomalies in the PFAS concentration. Another option is to install PFAS water filters at your home. The filtration process will enhance the water quality of your household and eradicate PFAS residues from the main supply. So you’ll get access to PFAS -free drinking water at all times. Plus, PFAS won’t enter your system when you wash dishes, clothes, or use tap water for cooking purposes.
The Water Quality Association recommends three ways to treat PFAS water.
RO systems are the most popular choice to tackle the PFAS water situation. The systems are designed to removes minute contaminants from your water supply with the help of specialized semi-permeable membranes.
It’s a feasible option for households because RO systems can be hooked to various parts of the household. This includes under the sink water filters and whole household water filters.
Granulated activated carbon effectively gets rids of traces of PFAS , arsenic, and other impurities present in drinking water. High-quality filters can change 10ppm PFAS levels to a minimum of 1 ppt. The system leaches the contaminants depending on how long they come in contact with the core carbon filter media.
The good thing is that installing one of these fixtures can regulate your PFAS consumption. Most of them improve water quality by eradicating other harmful chemicals, sediments, and other impurities in your main supply. Thus, these water filters give you free access to fresh, clean, and healthy drinking water.
It’s important to note that boiling PFAS water or substituting tap water for drinking water isn’t a solution. It’s because boiling water doesn’t have any effect on the PFAS levels. Similarly, bottled water is often mineralized during the treatment process. That means it might contain traces of fluoride too.
PFAS health effects are severe, especially for infants and young children. Even unborn babies that are exposed to PFAS chemicals can face consequences when their mothers consume contaminated water. Furthermore, infants who are breastfed by mothers who consume contaminated water are also at greater risks of health hazards, which will be discussed below.
According to the EPA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the toxic PFAS chemicals that humans are exposed to increase the lifetime risk of developing cancer. Exposure to PFAS through drinking water can also cause immune system problems, fertility issues and hormone imbalance. It can also affect the physical and mental development of children.
The exposure levels that increase these risks in humans are very low. A full glass of water contaminated with PFAS can increase the risk of health issues by up to 40%. The safe level of exposure determined by EWG is 1 part per trillion.
The following are the health effects caused due to exposure to PFAS contaminated water.
It must also be noted that PFAS contaminated water is harmful to humans even when they shower, bathe or swim in it. Routine exposure to these chemicals will result in skin issues such as rashes, irritation, etc.
Now that you’re aware of the dangers PFAS water poses to your health, it’s time to be proactive and invest in a water filter that will remove contaminants and compounds alike.
Water filters for PFAS don’t only remove PFAS . They remove its derivatives and other compounds that are similar to it and bind with it too. An added advantage of using water filters is that besides eradicating sources of PFAS , they also cleanse water from other impurities like bacteria, pathogens, viruses, metals and other harmful compounds.
In other words, water filters are lifesavers!
The filter utilizes the power of gravity to purify contaminated water. So when the dirty water enters the system it gushes down to the lower chamber due to extreme water pressure created by the system’s design. The bottom chamber collects the clean water as the impurities get trapped inside the middle chamber that’s attached with multiple filters.
The simplistic design is highly efficient and easy-to-use. The best part is that you don’t require any tools or electrical connections to install this device. This means you won’t have to worry about increasing your electricity bill by installing this device. Nor will you have to change the system when you move from one residence to another.
Another advantage is its sufficient storage capacity that handles 3.25 gallons of water per day. It’s an ideal fit for a large household. Plus, the economical cost and non-corrosive stainless steel construction are a bonus benefit.
The only setback is that the replacement parts come with a hefty price tag. Adding to this is the difficulty in cleaning the filters due to its unique filtration process. So make sure to include the maintenance cost prior to purchase.
Look no further than the clean water machine. Shaped like a jug, this pitcher filter is a must-have essential for nature trails, road trips, and other traveling expeditions. Not only does it remove PFAS from your water, but it manages to eradicate other harmful anomalies too. With a 99% success rate, you can expect to get fresh and clean water every single time.
This is the best pitcher filter for PFAS you can have in your home. You don’t need to install this filter and can simply keep it on your counter or anywhere else you want. You can fill the pitcher with tap water, which is then purified. The purified water is poured directly into the glass, providing instant hydration. It is NSF certified, which makes it highly convenient and reliable. It is super easy to use and is perfect for families.
Then you’ll appreciate the clever design and super speedy installation process of this 3-stage Under Counter Water Filter. The system is fitted with three filters that remove up to 77 different impurities from your well water and municipal water supply.
This is the best under sink filter for PFAS as it ensures that the water coming from the tap is free from all sorts of contaminants. As the filter is installed under the sink, it filters the water even before it reaches the tap. This means it provides clean water for all your washing, cooking, and drinking. The superior quality filter system makes water safe and pure to utilize for all kinds of house needs.
How does it work? The filter comes with a granulated active carbon fluoride filter that removes fluoride, VOC, pesticides, and other additives present in the water. Then the water passes through a catalytic carbon that deals with chlorine impurities. Lastly, the water is cleaned with an ion-exchange process that handles heavy metals like lead and mercury. Adding to this is the micromechanical filters that trap bacteria, cysts, and other germs.
Despite its high-tech specs, you’ll have no problem in setting the system up. The small size makes it easy to manage and the replacement process is simple too. Plus, the compact under sink fluoride water filter is made from eco-friendly parts. That means you get to clean your water and reduce plastic wastage at the same time.
As mentioned earlier, reverse osmosis water filters for fluoride are highly-effective. They are the easiest way to get crystal clear water that tastes great and has zero fluoride residues. So if you’re on the lookout for an RO system for fluoridated water then you should choose OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis + Claryum.
Why? This premium quality filtration unit merges the efficiency of reverse osmosis process with high tech features. These special features ensure that every impurity from fluoride to microorganisms like bacteria and viruses are removed. The best part is that it removes 97% fluoride without demineralizing the water. In other words, your drinking water will contain the good minerals you need to keep you healthy and safe.
This is the best Reverse Osmosis for PFAS that you can install in your home to make your drinking water clean. Reverse Osmosis filters are high-quality, premium filtration systems that guarantee contaminant and PFAS-free water to keep your family healthy and safe. This system can be installed under your sink or with your tap, which allows it to filter out the water before it reaches the tap. The filter is directly attached to the tap, making it feasible and convenient. You can get filtered water at once, which you can use for cooking, washing, and drinking.
The only issue you’ll face is during the installation process as it requires an expert. Besides this, environmentally-conscious families won’t like the fact that the system isn’t water efficient.
Do you want something that purifies the main supply?
This is the best whole house filter for PFAS that purifies water for your entire home. This filter is an advanced technology filtration system that will last for up to 10 years and purify up to 1 million gallons of water. It is a filtration system for your whole house and can be installed with your main water line. It purifies and gives clean water from every tap of your house, ensuring that you shower, bathe, cook, wash, and drink PFAS free water. This way, your entire family will be safe from exposure to harmful contaminants and PFAS chemicals.
Aquasana caters to your need with its whole house filter for fluoride called Rhino. The study unit is designed to purify 100,000 gallons of water per year. It’s spacious, geared with the best technology, and corrosion-free. That’s why its high price seems doable when we weigh in all the health benefits it offers to the whole household.
From a salt-free conditioning system, efficient fluoride filtration, to UV filtration, it covers all aspects of modern filtration requirements. The best part is that it takes care of your drinking water and cleaning water in one-go. That means you don’t have to purchase additional filters for the bathrooms and laundry room.
Your only complaint will be that the installation and maintenance will require professional assistance. However, you’ll see that it will all be worth it in the end.
This is the best refrigerator filter for PFAS that you need in your home. This water filtration system is a quick and easy solution to get cold water free from PFAS chemicals and other harmful contaminants directly in your glass. The filter can be connected to your refrigerator and gives you cold water and ice directly using filtered water. The filter has an easy replacement system, which doesn’t require additional fixtures or a professional plumber.
Refrigerator filtration systems are trendy and totally in-demand. They ensure that you get freshly cleaned chill water at all times. The inline icemaker and filtration process can be easily installed on your fridge. The compact size ensures that it’s compatible with most home refrigerators. Plus, the efficient filtration process manages to deal with everything from fluoride, lead particles to viruses.
The only drawback is that it has limited use when compared with the other products mentioned in this article. That’s why you may feel that its pricier than most water filters.
And there you have it— some of the best filters to remove PFAS chemicals from drinking water. PFAS chemicals in drinking water can lead to many negative effects. If you care about your health as well as your family’s health, then take the matter in your own hands. Choose one of these best-selling water filtration systems today for clean drinking water.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your PFAS water filter to keep your family safe and healthy!
The activities of man are slowly eroding the very essence of human life, even though there are some incredible technological advancement that do prolong human life, especially in the field of medicine. Inventions and innovations are the order of the day in a bid to ease life on earth; however, some of these activities negatively but subtly impact human health.
PFAS (Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of synthetic chemicals found in different industrial and consumer products. They play a major role in increasing the likelihood of people conducting auto-immune disorders, cancer, thyroid conditions, and kidney diseases.
PFAS are used in the making of water repellent clothing, carpets, firefighting forms, and non-stick cookware among others. Products that have been established to resist water oil or grease also contain a good percentage of the PFAS. To this end, it is safe to say that PFAS is present in everything that we touch and event the air that we breathe.
What is more is that the chemicals can survive in both the human body where they live in the kidney, the blood or the liver and in the environment. PFAS is also present in water bodies and animals for example; first world countries have been found to exhibit high levels of PFAS. The latter comes in different properties and length; this, therefore, means that they project different levels of toxicity.
There are over 6,000 types of PFAS with two most commonly found in the environment: one is the perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the chemicals are highly soluble in water and that is why they cannot be easily found in the environment. PFAS is also found in the public water systems that run through the tap and in the drinking water wells.
They are also present in surface water, and in the groundwater that seeps from the military and civilian airfields, where fire fighting foam has been used.
There are a number of guidelines released to be adopted as a bid to minimize a person’s exposure to PFAS in water. According to the Rhode Island health department, it is not advisable to boil drinking water because it only increases the concentration of the chemicals in the water.
The use of bottled water is, therefore, highly encouraged because of the process used in manufacturing them such as reverse osmosis or the activated carbon. People are also advised to get their drinking water from licensed vendors that have tested the water for the presences PFAS or rather uses treatment methods that get rid of the chemicals in the water.
Activities that involve ingesting water, should be done with water from a trusted source, be it cooking, brushing or drinking. In addition, parents with small kids that need to drink formula milk, have been advised to find alternative formulas that do not require the use of water.
Although showering or swimming have not been identified as major perpetrators in the spread of the chemicals, people are asked to engage in shorter baths, and for the kids, they could also do brief baths to prevent the chances of them swallowing water that is filled with the chemicals. Cuts and bruises also need to be kept off running or swimming water.
Cleaning the utensils should not pose any threat as it could be averted by wearing rubber gloves especially with people who have cuts abrasions or rashes on their hands. Humidifiers filled with water from the best PFAS water filters have also been encouraged but with the insistence that the water has to come from a clean and safe source.
NSF is an organization that tests for harmful chemicals and certifies different products and systems in a bid to enhance human health. There are set standards that have to be met for certification to be granted. The NSF international certified best PFAS water filters have been recommended by different states in America to be used in the reduction of PFOS and PFOA in your drinking water.
Given that NSF is an independent entity, people need to be wary and keep of fake NSF products. The independent body, therefore, gave out guidelines for people to watch out for in order to ascertain if the sold water filters have been ascertained by NSF, to be able to remove PFOS or PFOA.
The types of filters that come recommended by NSF are the granular activated carbon (GAC) and the reverse osmosis (RO) filters. Upon purchase you will look for the NSF P473 code, alternatively, there is the standard code P473 on the filter, in its packaging and specifications.
Let us find out how the filters work and why they come highly recommended by NSF. The Granular Activated Carbon has been in operation since time immemorial, and the activated charcoal was necessary as it was used to filter drinking water and as a multi purifier in Egypt. Households today use activated carbon in different forms to get rid of contaminants.
Activated carbon is produced when organic materials such as coal, peat or wood that have high levels of occurring carbon are slowly heated in an environment that either has low or no oxygen. The process makes impurities and water to come out without necessarily burning the material and the end product is known as char.
The latter goes through a number of both physical and chemical processing procedures that help increase their surface area to come up with a network of submicroscopic pores. The resultant product is the activated carbon that has the ability to attract and bind different compounds.
More important is that the activated carbon can be impregnated with different chemicals to enhance its ability to bind against any targeted compounds.
Now the activated carbon works via the adsorption process, where the compounds are evenly dispersed on the absorbent product, just like how a sponge would soak up water. In the adsorption process, the compounds can only bind to the surface molecules and end up creating a film. Important to note is that the carbon molecules are always out seeking other molecules with which to bond.
For the best PFAS water filters the big surface area and the porous nature of the activated carbon lets the adsorbed compounds to go through the material as it seeks out every available binding point, in this process, there are chemical reactions that take place, which change the offensive compounds into more cooperative compounds. In this case, activated carbon can bond with compounds in solid, liquid and gaseous phases.
The Granular activated carbon, on the other hand, has particles that cannot pass through an 80-mesh. GAC can, therefore, be used in a processing machine to work as a gravity filter. You can also mix GAC with a binder and then extrude to build same sized cylindrical pellets (Extruded Activated Carbon).
The Granular Activated Carbon is mostly used in the deodorization and water treatment processes; it is thus able to get rid of a good number of organic compounds but not all. Using GAC for inorganic compounds can be a challenge as it cannot break the inorganic compounds present in ionized water. However, both the GAC and the EAC can be impregnated to be strengthened to absorb the compounds.
Therefore, when purchasing your activated carbon filter be sure to pick the size that best fits the compounds that you want to get rid of.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) method has been recommended by NSF for water filtration; and the technology gets rid of a large number of contaminants from water. The process pushes water under pressure via a semi-permeable membrane.
Under the mechanism of RO, the best PFAS water filters use a high-pressure pump is used to increase pressure on the salty side of the reverse osmosis and then force water to pass through the RO membrane, the process leaves in the reject stream about 99% of dissolved salts.
The salt concentration in the feed water is what will decide the amount of pressure that will be used, therefore, if salt concentration is too high in the water then more pressure will be required to counter the osmotic pressure.
The demineralized water is then referred to as the permeate water. Now the water in the stream with concentrated contaminants but failed to go via the RO membrane is known as the reject or the concentrate stream.
The structure of the reverse osmosis begins with the feed water, which goes through the pump onto the RO membrane, where the highly concentrate is passed out as the reject stream and the permeate water moves ahead to the collection.
Now when the feed water goes into the RO membrane, water molecules are passed through a semi-permeable membrane where salts and contaminants are held back and discharged via the reject stream otherwise known as the brine stream. According to NSF, the contaminated water is the best PFAS water filters filled water that is now being filtered.
Therefore, it will either go to the drain or be fed back in the water supply to undergo another filtration process. The Reverse Osmosis uses the cross filtration system, where the water goes through the filter that is equipped with two outlets. Inside the filter, the contaminated water is drained out while the filtered water takes a different route.
This process prevents the buildup of contaminants’ by sweeping away the contaminant build-up allowing enough turbulence, which keeps the membrane’s surface clean.
Another reason why the Reverse Osmosis filter comes highly recommended by NSF is because the process removes about 99%+ of dissolved particles, organics, colloids, bacteria, salts, and pathogens. The size of a contaminant will determine if it will be accepted by the RO membrane. Contaminants that are weighing more than 200 are rejected by a properly functioning RO system.
On the other hand, the Reverse Osmosis method has been widely adopted by pharmaceutical industries, metal finishing industries among others. This is because the process can treat both small and large flow applications, of surface and groundwater.
Calculations are thus made to determine the performance of the system and its design considerations. The RO system in the best PFAS water filters is packed with instrumentation that shows the flow, quality, pressure and at times the temperature and hours of operation.
To accurately measure an RO performance you will need the concentrate pressure, the feed flow, temperature, permeate flow, the permeate pressure, and the feed conductivity. Other calculations are the salt rejection percentage that lets you know how the system is in removing contaminants. The salt passage percentage is the amount of salt in the percentage that goes through the RO system.
Therefore, if the salt passage is low, then the system is performing well and if the salt passage is high then the membrane might be in need of cleaning or even replacement. There is also the recovery percentage, which indicates the amount of water recovered as permeate water or rather the total amount of water not drained out.
There is also the concentration factor, scaling, chemical attack, microfiltration that aims to remove bacteria and colloidal matter, the process is important because it helps in reducing fouling potential. The measurements are many but significant to the operating system of the Reverse Osmosis.
NSF has thus provided a list of companies that manufacture the filters in their websites, and for people who own private drinking wells, they can get them at no cost at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Other water filters are the countertop, the refrigerator, and the under sink water filter. These devices look simple but are very effective, the installation will not cost you much and you can easily relocate them. The countertop water filter, for example, can be converted into a double or a triple filter just by hooking up single units.
The under sink water filter cleans the water that goes in such that if the filters faucet is opened, people will be able to access clean drinking water. The system, therefore, is mounted under the kitchen sink, but not on the reverse osmosis unit. The difference of this system with reverse osmosis is that the filters only process water when needed, whereas the other method has a storage tank and a drain for the contaminated water.
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