How man-made chemicals are making their way into our water system

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

If you are used to drinking water directly from the tap, you might want to reconsider that habit. Polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAs as they are commonly referred to, have found to be prevalent contamination in drinking water in major cities in the United States.

According to a report by the EWG, the Environmental Working Group, areas around D.C and Prince George’s Country have the highest contamination of PFA, but this substance occurs in almost all states and up to 6 million people could be consuming water with PFAs.

If you are ignorant of this nuisance, it is not your fault as the Environmental commission underestimated the contamination levels and the spread in our water. However, with all these science terms dancing in our waters, what they are, and how can it be treated to reduce whatever side effect it has on the human body now and in the future?


What are Polyfluoroalkyl Substances or PFAS?

Like most chemicals out of the periodic table, PFAS is a man-made chemical found in the environment. These substances don’t easily degrade; they are water-resistant and have been used in countless consumer products.


They are a primary component in most industrial substrates, like firefighting foams. However, the dangers with PFA substance is their ability to bioaccumulate in the human body or animals that consume water contaminated with PFAS.

Also, PFAS is found in essential household items like furniture, non-stick cookware, fast food containers, and waterproof clothes, and now in our water supplies. Between 2013 and 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency found that over 16 million people in 33 states have been drinking PFAs contaminated water in the USA.


How does PFAs behave in the water?

PFAs are not biodegradable but are water-soluble, and they readily combine with water molecules, which make the usual water treatments found in most homes ineffective in removing the compounds from the water we drink. This means you are at risk of bioaccumulation of PFAs in your body. However, researchers have been looking for better and effective methods to reduce or eliminate the levels of PFAs via cutting edge technology like reverse osmosis.


Side Effects of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Humans

According to the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, PFAs is found in nearly all blood samples of Americans because of the prevalence of the contamination. When PFAs are ingested, it builds up in your blood and organs; this puts you at risk of certain diseases like cancer, lowers the potency of vaccines, stunted fetal growth during pregnancy, liver problems, and thyroid and is even transferred from mother to her baby through breastfeeding.

Over the years, newer innovations have been devised to help reduce the amount of PFAs in drinking water. Alkali60 goes through a process called reverse osmosis to purify and clean water to a standard that is safe for human and animal consumption.

Home filtration systems like PUR and Brita are excellent units, but they don’t filter PFAs out of contaminated water, making users prone to the side-effects of the compound. Some other technologies introduced are using install at the point of entry where water enters the building before it is disbursed. So if you opt for any of the treatment, attach at a point of use.


What exactly is Reserve Osmosis?

This filtration system was created by the Marines to make clean drinking water available in a submarine. That means the process was able to eliminate all the salts and minerals from seawater to produce drinking water for sailors. This water purification system has proven to be very effective in removing any unwanted particles from water, including PFAs.


Also known as nanofiltration, this method has been known to be remarkably effective in eliminating Polyfluoroalkyl substance from drinking water. This method of filtration relies on membrane permeability, which is smaller and tighter than regular filtration used in most filter systems.


How does it work?

When water flows into the system, it passes through a filtration system that consists of a cleaning column with a 5-micron sediment filter. The first column removes basic contaminations like fluorine and chlorine or herbicides and other chemicals depending on the source of the water. The microfilter removes molecules that pass through the filter.

The water passed through another filter column, this is a 1-micron filter, which removes any chemical, or contamination, making the water cleaner and safer.

Finally, it passes through a dense membrane that only allows light, free water molecules to pass through while flushing out the dirty or unused water.



Reverse osmosis systems have shown to remove and reduce contamination levels in the water, including nitrates and PFAS better than most water filtration units.

The multiple layers of filters, including sediment filter, and the reverse osmosis membrane ensures that only clean water comes out of your tap, which is pure and without any contaminants. Furthermore, it will remove all minerals from water to produce alkali60 water.

Probably the most con about the process of reserve osmosis is the amount of water it takes to produce cleaner and safer water. Additionally, it is very costly; the unit costs almost 15,000 USD, which most homes can’t really afford, and the process utilizes a lot of water to produce a little water. So aside from the price of the unit, your water bill will surely go up.

In addition to the filtration cartridge needing change if it works heavy load, homes that have the PUR and Brita filters, although good filters, still lack in their inability to filter PFAS from contaminated water, which leaves you at risk of the side-effects of PFAS.


So what type of water is safe for consumption?

As mentioned, Alkali60 water is one of the top cleanest drinking water available because it is produced through reverse osmosis. Per Alkali60's 2019 water report, the company has received ND (not detected) for all PFA contaminants making it the cleanest drinking water around.

Despite the government ban on long-chain PFAS, short-chain PFAS are listed as unregulated contaminants. The extent to which PFAS has contaminated our waters in the US are underestimated. Remember: You can keep yourself and your family safe by drinking the cleanest water. It will make a difference.


Alkali60 Alkaline Water can be purchased here.



Sources

https://www.ewg.org/research/national-pfas-testing/

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/pfas-toxic-chemical-millions-peoples-drinking-water

https://www.wateronline.com/doc/how-to-remove-pfoa-and-pfos-0001

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/report-toxic-tap-water-found-in-dc-prince-georges-county/ar-BBZhV4f?fbclid=IwAR2HmNPInjYX59k0Epfw3vgTWyqyRaDMIM4A44xhwyUtKkebkB5KzenZzA4

https://www.epa.gov/PFAs/treating-pfas-drinking-water

https://www.epa.gov/sciencematters/reducing-pfas-drinking-water-treatment-technologies

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/deq-dwmad-eh-swpu-FilterFactSheet_610096_7.pdf

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