10 Ways to Safeguard Yourself From PFAS
Here are 10 ways you can protect your home and family from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS):
- Check your location – Drinking contaminated water is the most dangerous way you can be exposed to PFAS. To see if your area’s drinking water is tainted, check the Environmental Working Group’s interactive map of contamination sites  across the U.S. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all water supplies undergo testing. Homes near fire stations, airports, military bases and industrial manufacturing facilities are at an increased risk for PFAS exposure.
- Test your water – The U.S. EPA has released a lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion (PPT), which equates to one drop of food coloring in 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools. If your home uses municipal water, you can obtain a copy of your area's water quality report. If, on the other hand, your home uses a private well, test your own water by purchasing an at-home test kit.
- Buy a water filter – Filtering your drinking water is the most effective way to protect your family from PFAS. Look for water systems that have been rated as NSF or IAPMO certified for NSF-P473, which guarantees the reduction of both chemicals.
- Check your labels – Read the ingredient labeling on cosmetics, skincare, personal hygiene, and cleaning products. Immediately discard any products that contain “PTFE” or “perfluoro.”
- Avoid fast food – PFAS are used in many food packaging products to repel grease, including fast-food wrappers, containers, and pizza boxes. Since PFAS are also used in microwave popcorn bags, pop your own corn on the stove.
- Skip the stain repellent – Choose carpets and furniture that have not been pre-treated with a stain repellent. Limiting hand-to-mouth transfer from surfaces treated with PFAS is especially important for parents with young children.
- Check your wardrobe – Many clothes and clothing accessories contain PFAS, including stain- and water-repellent fabrics. Choose natural fabrics like untreated cotton and wool instead.
- Avoid non-stick cookware – Cook with stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron pots and pans whenever possible to protect against PFAS exposure.
- Know your fish – Eating certain types of fish and shellfish can increase your exposure to PFAS. While you may not always be able to determine whether the fish you’re eating was caught in contaminated water, you can check if your state has issued any fish consumption warnings.
- Change your air filters regularly – PFAS chemicals can easily flow through the air and travel long distances. To protect your home, change your air filters regularly and monitor the news for local air-quality reports.
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