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PFOA & PFOS - What are they and should you be concerned?

What are PFOA and PFOS?

PFOA and PFOS are two chemicals in a group of problematic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFOA and PFOS have been used widely in consumer and industrial products since the 1940s, including in nonstick cookware (e.g., Teflon), stain-resistant repellents put on carpets and fabric (e.g., Scotchgard and Stainmaster), paper and cardboard food packaging (e.g., fast food wrappers), firefighting foam, water-resistant textiles (e.g., Gore-Tex), and personal care products like dental floss.


Unfortunately, PFOA and PFOS are associated with serious health effects such as cancer, hormone disruption, liver and kidney damage, developmental and reproductive harm, changes in cholesterol levels, and immune system toxicity—some of which can occur at extremely low levels of exposure.

Due to their widespread use and the fact that they don’t break down and can spread quickly through our environment, PFAS are now detected in the bodies of 99 percent of Americans.


According to the National Resource Defense Council, New Jersey is especially hard-hit by PFAS contamination: 1.6 million of the 6 million people exposed to levels of PFOA and PFOS that exceed EPA’s lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) live in New Jersey—the most of any single state. Elevated levels of PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS chemicals have been found across New Jersey, including in Atlantic County, Somerset County, Bergen County, Passaic County, Warren County, Camden County, Union County, and Middlesex County.


Is the Government Doing Anything?

There are currently no federal standards for PFAS in drinking water. There are no “safe levels” nor repercussions if these levels are ever passed. Furthermore, only a handful of states have developed clean water guidelines for these potentially harmful chemicals. At this time, it is up to homeowners to take their health into their hands by protecting themselves from PFAS in drinking water.


What Can Be Done?

If you are concerned about PFAS in the water supply, the best thing you can do is get a water filtration system that is certified to remove PFOAS . Not all filter systems remove these chemicals so it is important to know that the one you install will meet your needs. Tri State Water's "Pioneer" filtration system is certified to work and will give homeowners peace of mind that the water they are drinking is safe for their families. Contact us today for a free estimate on the Pioneer Filtration System and any questions you may have regarding the system and installation.


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