PFAS: These new eternal pollutants in our water!
What are PFAS?
PFAS are a group of artificial chemical molecules known as perfluoroalkyls and polyfluoroalkyls, which include other molecules such as PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid).
These man-made molecules are used in many aspects of our daily lives, and are now considered eternal pollutants.
About these substances:
PFAS have been in use for many years, and are now banned in Canada because of their negative impact on our environment and drinking water. This product is extremely persistent and resistant as a pollutant; it does not biodegrade and remains for a very long time in the environment and in our bodies. As with more and more of our human activities, water is at the forefront.
These pollutants have long been used as waterproofing agents, fire extinguishers, stain removers… They are also found in the non-stick coatings of frying pans and other non-stick cooking elements. At present, there should be no stoves of this type left on the market. However, the next time you buy a pan, make sure it’s “PFOA Free”/”sans PFOA”. The list goes on and on: consumer products, shampoos, food packaging, takeaway food boxes (pizza boxes, etc.).
The natural hazard:
This contaminant in spring water has an impact on wildlife. Even at such low concentrations, in the nanogram range, bioaccumulation leads to higher concentrations in predators higher up the food chain. An aquatic larva or even a very small organism will consume these few nanograms, while its predator will consume several of these organisms, thus multiplying this concentration. The further up the food chain you go, the more this multiplication will occur. So our fish, such as trout and salmon, have a higher risk of containing these pollutants and heavy metals…
For the moment, we are talking about recommendations for the standardization of drinking water, but the threshold not to be exceeded for PFAS is 30 ng/l, i.e. 0.00003 mg/l.
Health effects :
Health Canada mentions possible risks to human health and probable links with certain cancers.
PFAS are known as eternal contaminants. They can concentrate over time in human and animal bodies, and their presence can persist even after exposure has ended. There are health risks even if the level of exposure in water is low; it’s continuous exposure that increases the risks. Infants may be more vulnerable, as may pregnant women.
Treatment and prevention:
Year after year, pollutant after pollutant, we realize the human impact on nature as well as on water, (microplastics, pharmaceutical products…) one of the most efficient systems to have at home is a reverse osmosis system. Osmosis treats between 95 and 99% of all minerals and substances present in water. At Puribec and Kinetico, our best-selling model, the K5 has all the certifications required for PFAS treatment. Kinetico K5 osmosis is NSF58 certified.
Kinetico’s K5 drinking water station has NSF-validated PFOA and PFOS abatement certifications with a minimum abatement of 99% of these pollutants.
It’s important to understand that filtering water as close as possible to the glass is becoming more and more a matter of course, not a luxury.