PFAS Forever Chemicals- What You Should Know

Understanding PFAS Forever Chemicals is important for protecting your family’s health and well-being. As a local water filtration business serving Port St. Lucie, these are issues close to our hearts at Eastern Water and Health.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used in consumer products and industrial processes since the 1940s. They are referred to as “forever chemicals” because they:

  • Do not break down easily in the environment or our bodies
  • Have been found at low levels both globally and in the local area
  • Can accumulate over time, raising health concerns

Some key facts about PFAS chemicals:

  • Associated with various illnesses, including thyroid disease and testicular/kidney cancer
  • Can interfere with hormones and development
  • Found in water sources near former military bases and industrial areas
  • Municipal water filters do not remove all PFAS types

As a local family, your priority is protecting loved ones from potential risks. This guide will help you understand:

  • Common sources and signs of PFAS in your water supply
  • Effective treatment solutions tailored for your home or business
  • Steps to limit future exposure in your community

Let’s get started on gaining valuable insights into these important issues. Please feel free to contact us with any other questions.

What are PFAS Forever Chemicals?

PFAS, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a large group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used in consumer and industrial products since the 1940s. But what exactly are these “forever chemicals” and why are they a concern? Let’s break it down.

  • PFAS are human-made chemicals that are very resistant to breaking down in the environment or our bodies. This is why they are called “forever chemicals” – because they seem to last forever!
  • There are over 12,000 different PFAS chemicals but the two most widely produced have been PFOA and PFOS. They have been used in non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, food packaging, and many other household products.
  • These chemicals are very useful because they help repel water, oil, and grease. But this same property is why they don’t break down naturally over time and can accumulate in our bodies.
  • Studies show that exposure to certain PFAS may be linked to low birth weight, effects on the immune system, cancer and thyroid issues. The EPA has advised that some PFAS can pose health risks even at very low levels.
  • PFAS chemicals have been found all over the world, including in water sources near former military bases and industrial areas. Due to their widespread use since the mid-1900s, almost everyone has a level of PFAS in their blood.

Now I know this all may sound concerning, but don’t panic! The good news is that by gaining a better understanding of these issues, you can feel empowered to take proactive steps to protect your family. In the next section, we’ll look at common sources of PFAS exposure and signs to watch out for in your home’s water supply. Stay tuned!

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Where can PFAS be found?

Now that we know a bit about what PFAS are, let’s talk about sources. These chemicals can be found in some unexpected places!

  • Water is a major pathway. PFAS have been detected in wells, lakes, rivers and reservoirs used for drinking water near former military bases or industrial sites. Groundwater is especially vulnerable.
  • Food packaging is another common source. PFAS are often used to make grease-resistant paper, like microwave popcorn bags and fast food wrappers. They can migrate into the food during cooking.
  • Household items like carpets, furniture and cookware treated with stain-resistant or non-stick coatings may contain PFAS. Older versions released more of the chemicals than newer products.
  • Work clothing and materials treated with water or oil repellents could be a source for those in relevant industries. Firefighting foam is a notable occupational exposure.
  • Dust around the home is another possible source. PFAS can become airborne as microscopic particles that settle everywhere over time.

So in summary – while water is a major concern, PFAS are truly everywhere. The good news? By gaining awareness, you have the power to limit contact through small daily choices. In the next section, we’ll look at reliable treatment options.

And remember – if you have any other questions or concerns about potential sources in your local community, please reach out. 

We’re here to help keep your family safe.

Treatment Options

Now that you understand more about PFAS and where they may be found, let’s talk about some solutions. Figuring out if you have an issue is the first step to protecting your family.

  • Reliable at-home water test kits are available to screen for the presence of PFAS. Look for options accredited by independent agencies.
  • For accurate results, have samples collected and analyzed by a certified lab. They can test water for individual PFAS compounds at low detection levels.
  • Signs like oily sheens, unusual tastes or odors may indicate an issue but aren’t definitive. Testing is recommended if your water source is at risk.

If results come back positive, don’t panic! Effective treatment solutions exist. Options will vary based on your needs:

  • Point-of-entry systems filter water throughout an entire home. These provide whole-house protection from the water source.
  • Under-sink or point-of-use filters allow filtered drinking water while showering/cooking water remains untreated. Great for lower contamination levels.
  • Whole home water filtration systems using advanced carbon filtration can remove a broad range of PFAS compounds to very low levels. This is ideal for serious contamination.

At Eastern Water and Health, we offer free consultations to determine the best treatment approach customized for your unique water quality and lifestyle. Our experienced team ensures you get long-lasting, reliable protection for your peace of mind.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help setting up testing or want recommendations on the right solution for your situation. Your health and safety are our top priority.

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Reducing Future Exposure

Now that you understand the issues around PFAS chemicals, let’s talk about reducing ongoing contact. While completely avoiding these substances is unrealistic, small changes can lower your family’s long-term exposure.

  • Use alternatives to PFAS-treated materials when possible. Look for stain- and water-resistant items made without these chemicals.
  • Store and serve food and drinks in glass or stainless steel rather than paper/plastic whenever feasible. Limit microwave popcorn too.
  • Eat mostly whole, minimally processed foods to limit packaging contact. Prepared foods are more likely to contain PFAS residues.
  • Drink filtered water from your home system rather than bottled water, which is subject to less regulation and oversight.
  • Ventilate while cooking and avoid overheating treated materials, which can release more chemicals into the air.
  • Regularly clean floors, windowsills and other indoor areas to remove PFAS-containing house dust. Use a HEPA vacuum if possible.
  • Advocate for your community by learning about local pollution issues and supporting responsible waste management.

Small changes like these, along with a reliable home filtration system, can meaningfully reduce your lifetime exposure to these challenging chemicals.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my water tested?

Reliable at-home kits are available to screen for PFAS. For accurate lab results, we’d be happy to collect samples from your home or business and have them analyzed by experts. Call or email us anytime – we’re here to help!

What are common signs of PFAS?

Some signs like odd tastes/smells aren’t definitive, but they may indicate an issue worth checking out. And remember, even if you notice nothing unusual, testing is a good idea if your water source is at risk. That’s where we come in to provide peace of mind.  

What are the health effects?

Studies show certain PFAS may impact things like thyroid function and immune systems. While more research is still needed, it’s always better to err on the side of caution where your family’s health is concerned. Our solutions can help limit potential risks.

What treatment works best?

The right solution depends on your situation. We offer free consultations to analyze your water quality and recommend an option like point-of-use or whole-home filters customized to your needs. Just give us a call – we’re here to help!

How long do PFAS last?

Unfortunately, some can stick around for a long time once in our bodies. That’s why preventing exposure through tested, filtered water is so important for long-term wellness. Partner with us and you can feel good knowing your family is protected.

As a local water filtration business in Port St. Lucie, we are deeply committed to providing effective solutions to protect our community from PFAS contamination. At Eastern Water and Health, we prioritize your safety by offering reliable filtration systems that remove harmful chemicals from your water supply. Don’t compromise on your family’s health – reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help ensure clean and safe water for your home.

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