Forever Chemicals: The Dangers of PFAS & Your Drinking Water

Drinking water is crucial to staying hydrated and healthy, but what happens when that water isn’t up to par? Our drinking water systems can sometimes fail us and leave harsh chemicals and toxins in the water, free for us to consume unknowingly. Among these chemicals are what are known as PFAS, or “forever chemicals.” At Ohio Valley Pure Water, we believe everyone deserves safe drinking water, which is why we’re here to educate you on the dangers PFAS can cause, and how you can protect yourself and your home. 

What Are PFAS Chemicals?

Used in consumer products since the 1940s, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used to make products grease-proof, water-proof, stick-proof, and stain-resistant. These chemicals contain toxic contaminants that have invaded public and private drinking water systems across the country over the past few years. According to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the drinking water of a majority of Americans likely contains “forever chemicals.” 

PFAS are referred to as “forever chemicals” because they are stubborn and persistent, lasting for thousands of years. Due to the carbon-fluorine bond in these chemicals, they aren’t able to break down in typical environmental conditions, building up instead. This causes the chemicals to remain in the environment—migrating into the soil, water, and air. Out of 9,000 PFAS compounds, 600 are currently used in the U.S. in numerous products—cookware, cosmetics, carpet treatment, dental floss, and more.

Unfortunately, there is little understanding about PFAS and how to eliminate them completely. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) researchers are continuously conducting water testing and experiments to answer questions they still don’t have all the answers to. These include:

  • How to properly dispose of PFAS
  • How many people are exposed to PFAS and by how much
  • How to better detect and measure PFAS in our air, water, soil, and wildlife

How Do PFAS Get into My Drinking Water?

When we drink water, we want to believe that what we’re consuming is healthy for our bodies. Little do we know, there could be dangerous chemicals, such as PFAS, entering our bloodstream from the water in our tap. “Forever chemicals” can enter your water supply in a variety of ways. From industrial plants releasing the compounds into the water or air to percolating into groundwater from firefighter foams, these chemicals find a way of sneaking into your drinking water.

To gain a better understanding of what products contain PFAS chemicals, take a look at the data provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease.

The Damage Forever Chemicals Can Cause

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals all over the world and are present at low levels in a variety of food products and in the environment. Small doses can increase the risk of a wide array of health problems, including kidney and testicular cancer, liver problems, high cholesterol, and immunosuppression.

PFAS decreases your body’s ability to fight disease and impacts your body’s ability to respond to vaccines, causing major health issues in both children and adults. Additional health problems “forever chemicals” can cause include:

  • Pregnancy-induced preeclampsia
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased vaccine response in children
  • Changes in liver enzymes
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia
  • Increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Developmental toxicity
  • Ulcerative colitis

Reduce Your Exposure to PFAS

When it comes to drinking water, whether you receive it from a public water system or a private well, there is always concern for PFAS. For immediate answers, you can contact your local water utility and ask them to test the water for PFAS. In doing so, they’ll be able to provide you with any information they have on the current “forever chemical” levels in the water supply and explain the state standards for safe drinking water levels. Unfortunately, PFAS can be found in all local drinking water in the greater Cincinnati 12 county tri-state area.

In the meantime, you can install a reverse osmosis (RO) system for added security and beneficial results. Reverse osmosis systems remove any unpleasant and unwanted impurities and harmful contaminants in your water, leaving you with safer drinking water each and every day. An RO can typically remove 90 to 98% of PFAS and is recognized as the single method that removes the widest spectrum of contaminants out of other water treatment processes.

Ohio Valley Pure Water Can Help

At Ohio Valley Pure Water, we’re determined to provide each of our customers with healthier, better tasting water—free of harmful chemicals. For this reason, we install RO systems so you can be sure your water is always safe to drink. The demand for better water treatment solutions has increased, and because of this, our professionals are dedicated to bringing reverse osmosis systems to every household in the greater Cincinnati area Eliminate contaminants, save money, and drink water that tastes the way it should when you trust in Ohio Valley Pure Water’s treatment options.

The Family Owned Water Company You Can Trust

Awarded “Best of Cincinnati” for water purification equipment in 2022, Ohio Valley Pure Water is proud to offer local residents a solution to contaminated water. As a family owned and operated business, we want to ensure that the water you consume each day is healthy for you and your family. Whether you’re in need of a reverse osmosis system to eliminate PFAS or suffer from hard water and need a new water softener, our professionals have you covered. Visit our website to learn more about our services or call us at (513) 810-5648 today to get started.

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