What are PFAS?
PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 5,000 fluorinated compounds whose nickname as “forever chemicals” comes because they don’t naturally break down not even in sunlight or heat and there is no known way to destroy them. These man-made chemicals accumulate over time in humans and in the environment.
The ubiquitous compounds are used to make products water- and stain-resistant, and are commonly found in PFAS have been used in firefighting foams, non-stick metal coatings for frying pans, paper food packaging, creams and cosmetics, textiles for furniture and outdoor clothing, paints and photography, chrome plating, pesticides and pharmaceuticals.
How dangerous are forever chemicals?
The chemicals are particularly dangerous because they are water soluble and easily move through the environment. Landfills, military bases and industrial sites frequently contaminate soil from which the chemicals move into groundwater and aquifers, then pollute nearby wells or municipal drinking sources.
Before talking about the health effects, it’s important to remember this: You have PFASs in your body right now. These chemicals enter your body in numerous ways, from drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated seafood or food packaged with PFAS components, to using products that contain PFASs. It’s almost impossible to avoid exposure.
Those exposed to enough PFAS can face devastating and diverse health consequences. The chemicals are linked to issues that include a variety of cancers, thyroid disorders, kidney disease, autoimmune disruptions, liver disease, high cholesterol, developmental problems in foetuses, Parkinson’s disease, bone disease and more.
What is Europe doing about it?
Measures to reduce PFAS pollution are in place, mainly addressing well-known PFAS substances and their precursors. PFAS are listed under Annex A of the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), implying that parties to the Convention should ‘eliminate the production and use’ of the chemicals.
Across Europe, several countries have been active in monitoring PFAS in environmental media as well as in humans and products. Some countries have set national limit values for water and soil (Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden), for textiles (Norway) and for food contact materials (Denmark). Several EU Member States have set drinking water limits for specific PFAS and for groups of PFAS. In June 2019, Denmark announced a ban on PFAS-treated food contact materials, to enter into force in 2020.
How can you avoid PFAS today?
It is difficult for citizens to totally avoid exposure to PFAS. Using PFAS-free personal care products and cooking materials and avoiding direct contact with PFAS-containing products helps to reduce exposure. Decreased exposure to PFAS may be achieved by using consumer products from green labels and buying brands free from PFAS.
With new reports continuously emerging regarding the unsafe condition of tap water, it’s difficult to feel confident in the potability of the water coming out of the faucet. Since one of the highest sources of PFAS and lead is through water systems, you want to drink water without the threat of any lurking contaminants.
With the technology of a purified water system like the Osmo, 99 percent of all chemicals, pesticides, bacteria, and other contaminants that make its way into tap water are removed. There are five+ steps of the filtration process to ensure the removal of all associated tastes and odors, as well as add back essential nutrients to maintain the pH level and electrolytes to benefit healthy body hydration.
The final result is purified water that doesn’t require the use of plastic bottles and removes the presence of chemicals that are presently found in a growing number of public water systems. It allows people access to healthy, great-tasting water at all times by transforming the sources already available to them into something worth drinking.