NH Residents With PFOA and PFOS Water Contamination Can Use Filters To Reduce Exposure
Perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA) and perfluorooctanesufonic acid or (PFOS) are human-made chemicals that were widely used in the manufacturing of many products up until 2000. These were ordinary compounds used in the production of many industrial and consumer products like cardboard and paper food packaging, electronics, insecticides, paints, stain repellants, plumbing tape, firefighting foam and non-stick cooking surfaces.
By 2002 PFOS was voluntarily phased out of production in the U.S. by the primary manufacturer. In 2006 eight major chemical companies agreed to voluntarily phase out global production of PFOA and related chemicals.
Before they were phased out, PFOAs and PFOS were released in large quantities into the environment during the manufacturing processes and have been found in groundwater supplies, causing water contamination near current or former manufacturing locations.
Potential Health Risks Associated with PFOA and PFOS
Exposure to unsafe levels of PFOAs and PFOS in drinking water may result in health effects including developmental issues in fetuses during pregnancy, certain cancers liver problems, immune issues and thyroid effects.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a lifetime of exposure health advisory at 70 parts per TRILLION (ppt) for both PFOS and PFOA in drinking water. This advisory level was established to provide a margin of protection to all Americans as well as those who are immuno-compromised, or in special populations including children and the elderly.
What to Do If Your Water is Contaminated
If PFOA’s or PFOS are found in drinking water, the EPA will issue a PFOA/PFOS Water Advisory. If an advisory is released, follow the instructions of your municipal water department. First, do not boil your water. If PFOAs or PFOS is present, boiling can concentrate levels of the contaminant.
Follow any directions issued by your local authorities with regards to water use for drinking, cooking, bathing, dishwashing, providing to pets or filtering during the advisory.
Treatment Options for Water Contamination by PFOA/PFOS
The NSF is a global public health organization that works to certify water treatment systems on other consumer products. NSF protocols are strict and used to verify w water treatment system’s ability ti reduce these contaminants below EPA health advisory levels.
In response to the EPAs finding and at the request of regulatory agencies, the NSF developed a protocol, NSH P473 to test and certify drinking water treatment systems designed to remove the water contaminants PFOS and PFOS. The protocol verifies that a drinking water treatment unit can reduce water contamination to below 70 ppt, the level set by the EPA.
The current protocols include carbon filtration and reverse osmosis point of use systems. To earn certification, water treatment systems undergo testing to confirm that they meet the strict material safety and structural requirements of NSF/ANSI 53, an American standard for water treatment units. Reverse osmosis systems must also meet all of the requirements of NSF/ANSI 58.
If water testing or an EPA advisory have determined that you have water contamination from PFOA or PFOS, seek out carbon filtration or reverse osmosis point of use water treatment systems that carry the NSF certification label. The first units that are certified compliant are made by Aquasana. They have several different models available that are certified to remove these contaminants to levels deemed safe by the EPA.
If testing has determined that your well contains unsafe levels of PFOA or PSOF, contact the experts at Skillings and Sons. We can design and install a water treatment system to safely remove this source of water contamination from your drinking water supply.
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