Harmful PFCs in drinking water and what it means for you.
PFAS in West Bend drinking water
Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) including Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) are used to make common household non-stick, water repellent, and stain resistant products like carpet, clothing, furniture fabric, food packaging, and cookware. They are also used in industrial processes and in fire fighting foam for use on airfields.
Contamination of drinking water usually occurs locally, near a facility where PFCs or products using them are manufactured, as well as around airfields where these chemicals were used to extinguish fires.
According to a news release by Washington County Insider, the City of West Bend notified the community about three wells on the north end of town that had levels of a chemical component above the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s non-regulatory health advisory levels. The wells provide drinking water. According to Ruth Mueller, utility director, following a system sampling, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were found in the wells. (Source)
The EPA established the combined PFOA and PFOS Health Advisory level at 70 parts per trillion. The total amount of any Perfluorinated chemical in drinking water (the total of PFOA, PFOS and all other PFCs) cannot exceed 70 parts per trillion. The Health Advisory for PFOA/PFOS refers to the amount of PFOA/PFOS contained in water that you could consume daily for 70 years without any adverse effects.
Adverse effects related to PFAS
- Birth defects and developmental issues during pregnancy or for breastfed infants including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal formation issues
- Cancer (testicular and kidney)
- Liver tissue damage
- Weakened immune system (antibody production and compromised immunity)
- Thyroid hormone imbalances
- Hypertension and high cholesterol
Bioaccumulation is a concern for PFAS. The chemicals can build up in the body over time so even small, but persistent doses can be dangerous. Adverse effects include:
Water filtration solutions for PFAS
Public water systems are required to notify consumers if water is contaminated. Consumers can also contact their local water supplier and ask for information on PFOA & PFOS in their drinking water and request a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report.
The Culligan® Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with a Total Defense Cartridge was tested in laboratory and field applications by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Water Quality Association and found to reduce Perfluorochemicals (PFC's) in water at levels typically found in drinking water. The Culligan® Whole Home System with dual carbon filters has been installed in over 300 homes and is proven to reduce Perfluorochemicals (PFC's) in water at levels typically found in well water. Contact your local Culligan Water expert with questions or for more information.
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Culligan has custom solutions to reduce dangerous PFAS. Water treatment solutions for PFAS include:
RO Drinking Water Systems