The Truth About Forever Chemicals

The Truth About Forever Chemicals

PFAS, commonly referred to as "Forever Chemicals," present a formidable challenge to the water sector today. These synthetic compounds, known formally as polyfluoroalkyl substances, boast remarkable properties such as resistance to water, oil, and heat. Consequently, they find extensive use in diverse industrial and commercial applications, ranging from metal finishing and plating to hydraulic fluids and semiconductor manufacturing.

Despite their advantageous properties, the pervasive use of PFAS in manufacturing processes raises concerns. Manufacturers are not legally required to disclose their utilization of PFAS, leading to widespread incorporation of these chemicals in consumer products. While the UK has banned certain types of PFAS—such as PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid)—other variants, potentially equally hazardous, continue to be employed across various industries and the substances that are now banned perpetually cycle through the water and food chains, posing significant threats to ecosystems and human health alike during our lifetime and many more to come.


Tackling PFAS: A Growing Imperative

Tackling PFAS is continuously becoming more critical as the years pass by. The nature of PFAS creates a scenario where they will continually accumulate in our water cycle, causing more and more problems as they build up. Studies and research conducted in the US allow us to learn how to combat PFAS. It is important that we understand how to remove PFAS from our water supplies in our home and in our businesses!


The Challenge of Addressing PFAS Contamination

Addressing PFAS contamination presents a multifaceted challenge for policymakers, regulators, and environmental advocates. Given the widespread use and persistence of PFAS, remediation efforts must be comprehensive and collaborative. Strategies may include stricter regulations on PFAS use, improved waste management practices, and investment in alternative, less harmful substances.


The health impacts of PFAS

With characteristics that hinder their breakdown, PFAS persist and accumulate in the environment, increasing the likelihood of human exposure. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to certain types of PFAS can elevate the risk of various health conditions, including certain cancers, elevated cholesterol levels, reduced fertility, and developmental effects in children. These findings underscore the urgent need to address PFAS contamination and mitigate its health impacts.


Effective Technologies for PFAS Removal

Studies conclude that the two best technologies to remove PFAS from drinking water are:

  • Activated Carbon Technology
  • Reverse Osmosis Technology


Activated Carbon

Activated carbon filters adsorb contaminants found in water, including lead, chlorine, and PFAS. The large surface area of carbon filters combined with highly porous properties makes activated carbon efficient at trapping large molecules such as PFAS and allowing the safe passage of smaller particles through.

The new PFAS ChlorPlus and FloPlus Systems are NSF/ANSI 53 certified for reduction of PFAS:

  • Pentair ChlorPlus Protect 10″ System
  • Pentair FloPlus Protect 20″ System

The prevalence of PFAS contamination underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate its environmental and health impacts. By raising awareness, implementing stringent regulations, and investing in sustainable alternatives, we can work towards a future where the harmful legacy of PFAS is effectively addressed.

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