Health and Medical

What is PFAS—and Why Should You Care?

Polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are essentially a class of man-made chemicals created when carbon-based compounds that include fluorine bind to other compounds that include carbon plus other elements. They are used in everything from firefighting foam to raincoats, adhesives, water-repellant fabrics, waterproofing treatments for clothing, furniture, carpets, and paper packaging for food. These chemicals don’t break down easily and can last for decades or even centuries. In this article, we will discuss why we all should know about PFAS.

What is PFAS?

Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFAS, is a group of chemicals that have been used in consumer products for decades. They are found in things like cookware, food packaging, firefighting foam, and other industrial applications. These chemicals can be found in drinking water at levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended long-term health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). 

The EPA has set this threshold because these chemicals have been linked to cancer, thyroid disease, pregnancy complications, and developmental problems in children. PFAS are persistent, meaning they do not break down easily and spread easily through soil and groundwater, which means that even if you filter your tap water or buy bottled water at home, you may still be exposed to them through your food or air.

Disadvantages of PFAS

There are many disadvantages of exposure to PFAS, and you should do PFAS water treatment as soon as possible in your water system. 

The most important one is that they are a potential carcinogen, which can cause cancer. They have been linked to several forms of cancer, including kidney, testicular and breast cancer. PFAS also has been linked to newborns’ high cholesterol levels and low birth weights.

In addition to the health risks associated with PFAS, environmental concerns are also related to these chemicals. The EPA has found that PFAS can affect wildlife at low concentrations and cause reproductive problems in fish and birds. 

Finally, another disadvantage is that it is very hard to detect PFAS because they are currently not regulated by any federal agency or law. So if you are concerned about PFAS in your community or home, there is no easy way for someone like an inspector or environmental engineer to tell if contamination is present without sending samples off for testing first.

So, even though the water supplied to you is treated for PFAS beforehand, you are still likely to get exposed to it. To reduce that exposure, you can take the help of experts from Membrane Systems Australia for this. 


In short, PFAS is a family of synthetic chemicals that remain in the environment for long periods. They are difficult to degrade and can affect animals and humans. PFAS is a group of chemicals known to cause health problems. It might not show up in blood tests, but it can still be found in drinking water, and it’s been linked to cancers, thyroid conditions and other illnesses. With PFAS water treatment being so expensive, serious legislation has been put forward to help improve the situation.

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