Is Perfluoro-octane Sulfonate (AKA PFOAs) in your home water supply?

It’s Just Not Funny! Perfluoro-octane Sulfonate (AKA PFOAs) in your home water supply?

Vast areas of America contaminated by this  combination of toxic chemicals in aqueous film-forming foam (fire fighting foam)  has seeped into public water supplies from California to Rhode Island.pfoas

According to an  Environmental Science and Technology Letters report, “the study suggests at least six million people across the U.S. in 2016 had drinking water that exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory for certain acids associated with the foams.”

Researchers from UC Berkeley and Harvard University report that these “highly fluorinated chemicals are linked to cancer, obesity, high cholesterol and endocrine problems, among other concerns” .

Australians are no strangers to the same nasty chemical. Residents living close to air bases are fighting an intransigent Department of Defence which seems to be doing all it can to deny existence of a problem.

How to get rid of Perfluorinated Compounds

Last month the U.S. EPA updated its drinking water guidelines for PFOA and PFOS (also known as perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, respectively) apparently in response to rising attention paid to the dangers of these chemicals in drinking water. The agency’s assessment is that drinking water with concentrations of PFOA and PFOS below 70 parts per trillion will not result in adverse health effects over a lifetime of exposure.

The Water Research Foundation assessed every possible filtration method. Results were:

  • Aeration, chlorine dioxide, dissolved air flotation, coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, granular filtration, and microfiltration were all ineffective.
  • Anion exchange was moderately effective in treating PFOA, highly effective for PFOS, and failed to remove several other PFASs.
  • Nanofiltration and reverse osmosis proved to be the most effective methods of removing even the smallest PFASs.
  • Granular activated carbon (GAC) was shown to be adept at removing most PFASs and it may be the average utility’s best bet for PFOA and PFOS contamination.

“In many cases, the most cost-effective treatment for removing PFOA and PFOS will be Granular Activated carbon, though water utilities will need to test GAC to determine site-specific performance,” the WRF said.

product1GAC is the most common method of filtration available to homeowners, but there are grades of effectiveness.
Most basic GAC water filters do not offer life-of-filter test data, so buyers cannot know how long they remain effective.

A much better form of this form of media is termed catalytic carbon. Its vastly increased surface area and method of production means it is not only capable of removing contaminants longer, but it has a far wider range of contaminants that it removes. Nanofiltration has, as seen above, also proved to be effective and the new UltraStream uses the new cutting edge Red-E nano filtration system which has a huge range of contaminant removal without loss of good flow rate.

Note: Most electric water ionizers on the market have far less filter efficiency.


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