Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are commonly known as “forever chemicals” due to their inability to break down naturally through time. These toxic chemicals have been found in water supplies in communities statewide. It is in the blood of 99.9 percent of all inhabitants on Earth.
Until now, there have not been any stringent standards for PFAS. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon regulate these human-made toxins that pose severe and life-threatening health risks for millions of people. In 2016, a recommended (yet unenforceable) health advisory limit was set at 70 parts per trillion for PFAS in drinking water. Now, scientists are saying those levels are unsafe for human health. With the new standards set by the EPA, local water utility companies will encounter consequences if they do not follow them.
PFAS can be found in much more than water; they have been used for decades in Teflon pans, fire retardants, cosmetics, dental floss, food packaging, clothing, cleaning supplies, and much more. With the new regulations, manufacturers will be required to provide specific data about the chemicals they use to create their products.
By 2023, the Defense Department will complete preliminary evaluations of possible PFAS contamination in roughly 700 different installations. The Food and Drug Administration, as well as the Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments, are both researching the health effects of PFAS.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan said, “This is a really bold set of actions for a big problem. This strategy really lays out a series of concrete and ambitious actions to protect people. There are concrete steps that we are taking that move this issue forward in a very aggressive way.”
PFAS can lead to infertility risks, thyroid disease, cancer, developmental problems in children, and much more. A 2016 study by scientists at Harvard University found that drinking water supplies for more than six million Americans had highly unsafe levels of PFAS.
The study’s lead author, Xindi Hu, said, “Virtually all Americans are exposed to these chemicals. They never break down. Once they are released into the environment, they are there.”
Robert Bilott, an environmental attorney whose story was made famous by the movie “Dark Waters,” when he successfully sued DuPont on behalf of plaintiffs exposed to PFAS in Ohio and West Virginia, said, “I do believe that in this term, we will make significant progress on this issue. I hate to be cynical, but I’ve been seeing this for 20 years. It’s massively overdue. It’s decades overdue. This is a huge public health threat, and it’s something that has just gone on way too long.”
More than likely, you have PFAS in your drinking water. Contact the water purification experts at Reynolds today – we can ensure your water is clean, pure, and safe from chemicals.
Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.