What You Need To Know About The New EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories

In June, the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) updated multiple drinking water health advisories for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the president’s action plan to deliver cleaner water to the country. Not sure what that all means for you? Allow us to break it down a bit further. 

What Are Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of human-made chemicals used in a very diverse amount of consumer and industrial products. They’re found in things like nonstick pans, food packaging, waterproof jackets, and carpets. These chemicals are beneficial because of their ability to repel water, hence why they’re used in objects like those listed above. The caveat of PFAS chemicals is that they’re not very easily broken down, and certain types have been found to accumulate in the environment, our water supply, and our bodies over time. Exposure to certain types of PFAS has been linked to health issues, and research on these issues is ongoing.

What we know so far about these health issues include the following:

  • reproductive effects such as decreased fertility
  • high blood pressure in pregnant women
  • developmental delays in children
  • increased risk of certain cancers like prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers
  • lessened immune response
  • natural hormone interference and decrease
  • higher risk of obesity

While FDA’s research of these chemicals is still ongoing, we do know that the levels of these chemicals in our water and environment are still extremely low (in the parts per trillion). So, while there are root issues associated with ingesting these chemicals there is still a lot to be determined, and in the meantime, we can get smarter with responsible use and production of items that contain PFAS – as the president’s action plan is trying to indicate.

What Is A PFAS Advisory?

As a part of the recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law grant funding, the funding will go to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water, and specifically focusing on small or disadvantaged communities. It is a part of a larger continuing effort to safeguard communities from PFAS pollution and educate more people on the cleanliness of their water. A PFAS Advisory is sent out when an area is experiencing a surge in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the water supply or natural waterways nearby which could affect food like livestock as well as, obviously, your water.

The good news is that PFAS are dealt with and filtered by local water treatment facilities. We’re also becoming increasingly more aware of the harms of these chemicals as time goes on, especially because of the increased awareness in our government with the passing of the infrastructure grant.

If you’re looking to take charge of your water quality on your own at home, Culligan has many options for you – including whole home filtration, reverse osmosis systems, and bottled water delivery. Give your local Culligan water specialist a call today to get started on the road to the cleanest and best tasting water you can buy!

Works Cited:

https://www.epa.gov/pfas/our-current-understanding-human-health-and-environmental-risks-pfas

https://www.fda.gov/food/chemical-contaminants-food/and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas

https://www.epa.gov/sdwa/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos#:~:text=PFOA%20and%20PFOS%20are%20members,water%20that%20are%20near%20zero.

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-new-drinking-water-health-advisories-pfas-chemicals-1-billion-bipartisan

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