How to Reduce and/or Remove PFAS in Water

PFAS contamination has been detected in drinking water supplies across the United States, affecting communities in both urban and rural areas. On November 28, 2023 the EPA released the latest round of public water system testing data for PFAS. It showed 854 sites have detectable levels of PFAS. Massachusetts and New Jersey are so contaminated, if you look at the whole map of the USA, you can’t even see the outline of either state. You can view an interactive map here. https://www.ewg.org/interactive-maps/pfas_contamination/map/

How to Remove and/or Reduce PFAS from Water;

  • Activated Carbon Filters; They are the most affordable, however, for carbon filters the temperature of the water and the size of the activated carbon layer(s) also play a role to properly remove PFAS[1].
  • Distillation; distillation can remove up to 99.9% of PFASs, along with other contaminates including radiation. A good distiller manufacturer will have 3rd party test conducted on their distillers to prove their ability to remove PFASs. They are not a cheap purchase and requires a lot of energy to run[2]. However, high-quality distillers can last a long time and only require simple periodical cleaning to keep them running properly. If you are in the market for a distiller, do not settle on a cheap one.
  • Reverse Osmosis; According to the EPA, reverse osmosis separation is up to 99% effective at removing certain PFAS[3]. Further, they don’t last long and constantly need monitoring and replacement. Also, short-chain PFAS may slip by[4].
  • Both activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis accumulate the contaminates, so they both need monitoring and replacement continually, versus a distiller which needs cleaning periodically.
  • Epidemiological studies have reported negative associations between pediatric PFAS exposure and immune function, and suggest that current drinking water guidelines may not adequately protect children from immunotoxicity.[5]
  • To review a comprehensive list of what PFAS can be found in Click Here.

NEXT: Common Exposure Points of PFAS/Teflon

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Citations

[1] https://pbswisconsin.org/news-item/what-should-i-do-about-pfas-in-my-water/
[2] https://mypurewater.com/home-products/pure-water-lab-results/#PFO
[3] https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2021-09/multi-industry-pfas-study_preliminary-2021-report_508_2021.09.08.pdf
[4] https://pbswisconsin.org/news-item/what-should-i-do-about-pfas-in-my-water/
[5] https://reporter.nih.gov/search/7DLIjztF0kydMTGTRZfLzw/project-details/10436901description