PFAS in drinking water is a serious problem – so serious that many people have been able to successfully assess its harmful effects. Worse, we haven’t studied this chemical thoroughly enough, but the reality is that many people may suffer from certain diseases because of this chemical.
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Here’s what you need to know about PFAS in drinking water, what symptoms you may experience if exposed, and when to file a complaint.
What You Need To Know About PFAS In Drinking Water
PFAS stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, which are man-made chemicals that can withstand high heat. The chemicals also repel water and oil, making them useful in many everyday products — including carpets, non-stick pans, cleaning products, and even food packaging. There are two specific types of chemicals, both of which have been studied extensively by researchers, that can cause health problems: PFOA and PFOS.
What is PFOA?
PFOA is a perfluorooctanoic acid used in the manufacture of Teflon® and other chemicals. These chemicals are often found in drinking water, but usually, only enter the water in small amounts. However, it is sometimes found in higher concentrations in certain areas, such as near chemical plants where it is used.
What is PFOS?
PFOS is a perfluorooctane sulfonic acid used in some film-forming foams that firefighters use to extinguish fires. It may have been released into the environment in the past and landfill decomposition. PFOS can build up in your body and damage internal organs.
Both chemicals are considered perfluoroalkyl substances, so they fall under the general term PFAS.
Groundwater Pollution: How PFAS Gets into Drinking Water
When PFAS contaminated soil, it can enter wells and other water sources. The main sources of groundwater contamination with PFAS may be local airports, military facilities, oil refineries, or firefighter training grounds – the foam used to extinguish fires often contains this type of chemical.