Can I Test my Drinking Water for PFAS?
There are currently 3 EPA testing methods for testing drinking water for Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Laboratories will analyze drinking water for PFAS using either USEPA Method 537, 537.1, or 533. These methods test for hundreds of PFAS compounds, including the compounds that are part of the current National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR).
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Can a Brita Water Filter Remove PFAS?
While Brita filters were not designed -- and do not claim to—remove PFAS -- they use the same processes that the EPA says are effective at reducing PFAS. These include using activated carbon and an ion exchange treatment.
Related Article: PFAS Exposure Lawsuit Update
What Water Filter Will Remove PFAS?
There are various systems that work to remove the dangerous PFAS from your tap water, including:
- Reverse osmosis filters - These systems work by forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane, which filters and removes drinking water contaminants. Many have multiple layers of RO membranes and filters. According to some studies, reverse osmosis filters can remove up to 90% of these dangerous chemicals.
- Activated carbon filters - These filters use granular activated carbon. When water flows through the active carbon filter, the granules absorb a large portion of the PFAS and PFOA. Activated carbon filters are very common, though they are less effective at removing these forever chemicals than reverse osmosis filters.
- Ion exchange filters - Work by exchanging ions of the contaminants with those of sodium. The water comes in contact with the charged ion exchange resins. This kind of filtration system is typical in water softeners. These are some of the most effective water treatment systems money can buy.
Related Article: What Does PFAS Do to Your Body?
Will Boiling Water Remove PFAS?
According to the EPA, you cannot get rid of PFAS by boiling the water. Doing so will only cause the chemicals to become concentrated, making them even more dangerous when ingested. This happens because heat cannot break down PFAS.
Do Bottled Waters Contain PFAS?
Certain non-carbonated bottled water products sold in the U.S. and tested as part of a recent study were found to contain toxic PFAS chemicals, prompting calls for the government to implement standards covering the chemicals. The study, published in the journal Water Research [1.] and conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, detected PFAS in at least 39 out of more than 100 bottled waters tested, in some cases at levels considered to be dangerous by water quality experts.
The study did not identify which brands were tested. however, the researchers did find that bottled waters labeled as “purified,” which are typically filtered through reverse osmosis, contained less PFAS overall than “spring” water, which is not filtered using that method.
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