Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAS) can be described as a category comprised of thousands of synthetic chemicals which are used to create products that are immune to heat, water, and staining. These chemicals, commonly called "forever chemicals" are not easily broken into pieces in the environment and are extremely difficult to eliminate.
They are found in drinking water and drinking water sources across the United States, their chemical characteristics make PFAS remove and treat using conventional water treatment techniques.
The problem with PFAS is that they can stay in the human body for a long time, potentially causing PFAS cancer. Kidney and liver damage, developmental disorders in children living near firefighting sites, high cholesterol levels, and lower fertility rates are all common health impacts due to PFAS chemicals.
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There's not enough research available to determine acceptable exposure levels that each of the PFAS. The trace doses of a number of the most researched chemicals have been linked to adverse health effects. An increasing amount of people across the nation are recognizing the chemicals and are trying to tackle the issue of contamination.
How do people get affected by PFAS?
These chemicals are employed in industrial applications and can be found in consumer products like clothing as well as food packaging cooking equipment, cookware, cosmetics, and carpets, as also a fire-fighting foam called aqueous film-forming (AFFF). The public is exposed to PFAS through drinking contaminated water or food as well as inhaling dust with PFA, and coming in contact with products sold to consumers which contain PFAS.
The causes of contamination can be found in not just manufacturing and industrial facilities, but also in landfills where PFAS has been leaching into groundwater and other areas where AFFF containing PFAS is used, including military bases, airports chemical plants, and underground petroleum storage sites.