PFASs, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of chemicals found in common household items like nonstick products; they’re also used extensively in the military. Turns out America’s drinking water woes expand far beyond lead. Contamination occurs often at certain hot-spots and in the past these hotspots have mostly been discovered by chance.”. We can produce this material via industrial synthesis, or it forms as a byproduct from the degradation of polymer materials. Can that really be possible? This cookware, while innovative at the time, has lead to the environment, animals and human beings experiencing PFAS contamination. Another scientific article published in 2017 reveals that “empirical observations and toxicokinetic models consistently demonstrate that serum PFOA levels in adults increase on average by more than 100 times the drinking water concentration.” So in other words, drinking water with PFAS contamination may result in humans having an even higher level of PFAS in their bodies than the source of the toxic pollution (drinking water)! The agency’s efforts continue to be focused on taking the actions committed to in the PFAS Action Plan.”. This Dr. Axe content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure factually accurate information. PTFE is a polymer material containing a large number of repeating units. Locations include drinking water systems providing water to an estimated 19 million people. Overview and Key Difference PFAS in drinking water: 1 ppt as the total concentration for the sum of all PFAS, PFAS in groundwater and cleanup of contaminated sites: 1 ppt as the total concentration for the sum of all PFAS, Food packaging, including microwave popcorn bags and fast food wrappers, Outdoor gear with a “durable water repellent” coating. “Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid” By Leyo – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia. You can visit Congress.gov to receive alerts regarding this bill. According to this plan, “Where deemed appropriate and necessary, the EPA will prioritize preventing environmental contamination and identifying approaches that reduce the costs of PFAS management faced by local communities.” The plan also says that in 2019, the EPA will invite the public to comment on its efforts to date, including “recommending additional information the Agency should consider in its regulatory determination.”. 2. Although PFOA and PFOS are no longer manufactured in the United States, they are still produced internationally and can be imported into the United States in consumer goods such as carpet, leather and apparel, textiles, paper and packaging, coatings, rubber and plastics.”. Both are fluorinated organic chemicals, part of a larger family of compounds referred to as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). You may also want to consider avoiding fabrics treated with nonstick chemicals including Teflon, Scotchgard, Stainmaster, Polartec, and Gore-tex. Madhu is a graduate in Biological Sciences with BSc (Honours) Degree and currently persuing a Masters Degree in Industrial and Environmental Chemistry. @media (max-width: 1171px) { .sidead300 { margin-left: -20px; } } This is yet another example of lax U.S. laws that allow chemicals into widespread use before being tested for long-term impacts on human health. And leaked FDA documents that were presented at a scientific conference in Helsinki, Finland, show that PFAS have been detected in dairy products, poultry, red meat, fish, leafy greens and store-bought chocolate cake. Check out the EWG Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination In the U.S. to see more information about where you live and to spread this link around so more people can be aware of possible contamination in their area. The American Cancer Society website states, “Studies have found that it is present worldwide at very low levels in just about everyone’s blood. Because EPA has not fully reviewed the quality of the underlying data, and based on the agency’s commitment to good risk communication with the public, EPA cannot recommend the map be used to determine where public health risks associated with PFAS chemicals may or may not exist. are clickable links to these studies. Technical Fact Sheet – Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) This fact sheet provides a summary of two contaminants of emerging concern, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), including physical and chemical properties; environmental and health impacts; existing federal and state guidelines; detection and treatment … PFAS is per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances that include man-made organofluorine substances. We need to elect officials who are working for us, not toxic industries that pollute us for centuries. These substances are synthetic compounds that … These man-made chemicals are … This tail and head structure is the reason for naming them as surfactants. 5. PFOA is a type of PFAS. An interactive map created by the EWG and the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University is now said to be “the most comprehensive resource available to track PFAS pollution in the United States.”. If you look at the map, right away you’ll likely notice that certain areas actually contain clusters of water systems that tested positive for PFOS, PFOA or another contaminant. Both of these PFAS have been voluntarily phased out by the industries that previously used them for their ability to repel both water and oil. According to the CDC, some, but not all, studies in humans with PFAS exposure have shown that certain types of PFASs may: On May 2019, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), in conjunction with the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute (SSEHRI) at Northeastern University, released an updated version of its interactive map of PFAS-contaminated sites in the United States. So, this is also a significant difference between PFAS and PFOS. Both systems are known to help, but it’s important to note that they provide less water flow than a standard water faucet. As mentioned earlier, the EPA started its PFOA Stewardship Program in 2006. A scientific review published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found: “The global historical industry-wide emissions of total PFCAs from direct (manufacture, use, consumer products) and indirect (PFCA impurities and/or precursors) sources were estimated to be 3200−7300 [metric tons].”. They can persist for a long time both in the environment and in humans. Stories like these lead to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to form the PFOA Stewardship Program in 2006, given the major concerns of PFAS detection in drinking water and the U.S. population. Fluorocarbons are typically lipophilic. This is a problem that may be affecting you at this very moment. Another historical source of PFAS is military airports using aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) which combine fluoro- and hydrocarbon-surfactant technologies to put out fires.