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Forever Chemicals

Forever Chemicals: Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Them?

Because water is essential for our survival, it is crucial that we have access to clean and safe drinking water. However, in recent years, concerns have been raised about the presence of forever chemicals, specifically per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in our drinking water. PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been widely used in various industrial and consumer products for their water and grease-resistant properties. These chemicals have become a significant environmental concern due to their persistence in the environment and potential adverse health effects.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established health advisory levels for PFAS in drinking water, but there are no regulations in place to ensure they do not exist in our drinking water, no matter the source. Taking this into consideration, many are turning to in-home water filtration systems to remove PFAS from their water; however, not all in-home systems are equally effective at removing these contaminants. Therefore, it is essential to understand the different types of forever chemicals and their impact on our health as well as the various water filtration technologies available to remove them effectively.

Understanding Forever Chemicals in Your Drinking Water

Forever chemicals, or PFAS, are a group of man-made chemicals that have been widely used in various industries and consumer products for their water and grease-resistant properties. These chemicals can be found in nonstick cookware, firefighting foams, and even food packaging. They have become a significant concern because of their persistence in the environment and potential adverse health effects.
The EPA has identified several types of PFAS, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). These chemicals can contaminate drinking water sources through industrial discharges, wastewater treatment plants, and even contaminated soil and groundwater. PFAS contamination in drinking water has been a growing issue in many communities across the country, especially ones that have a signficant amount of industrial businesses.

How Do They Affect Our Health?

Exposure to forever chemicals, or PFAS, has been associated with a range of health effects. These chemicals can accumulate in the body over time, leading to potential adverse health outcomes.
Thyroid disease is one of the health risks linked to PFAS exposure. PFAS can disrupt thyroid hormone production, which can lead to various thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Furthermore, studies have suggested a possible link between PFAS and the development of various cancers, including kidney, testicular, and ovarian. Although the exact mechanisms by which PFAS may contribute to cancer development are still being studied, it is clear that exposure to these forever chemicals can be hazardous.
PFAS has also been shown to impair immune function, making individuals more susceptible to infections and diseases. In addition, there is evidence suggesting that PFAS may contribute to low birth weight in babies.
Given the potential health risks associated with PFAS, it is crucial to take measures to reduce exposure, including using effective water filtration systems.

Top Water Filters for Removing Forever Chemicals

When it comes to removing forever chemicals, such as PFAS, from your drinking water, there are several top water filters to consider, including activated carbon filters, reverse osmosis filters, and ion exchange filters. Each has been proven effective in reducing the levels of PFAS contaminants.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters, commonly found in refrigerators’ water filtration systems and pitcher-style filtration systems, are effective in removing certain impurities, including chlorine, taste, and odor. However, their effectiveness in removing PFAS may vary.
Research has shown that activated carbon filters like PDR-FG15 can remove an average of 73% of PFAS contaminants. While this is a significant reduction, it is important to note that the results can vary depending on the specific filter and the levels of PFAS in the tap water.
Regularly changing the activated carbon filters is recommended to ensure their maximum efficiency. Additionally, combining activated carbon filters with other filtration technologies, such as reverse osmosis, can provide a more comprehensive solution for removing forever chemicals from your drinking water.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems like PureDrop RTW5 Series are considered the most efficient in removing forever chemicals like PFAS from drinking water. These systems use a semi-permeable membrane to remove particles, contaminants, and impurities from water.
Studies have shown that RO systems can remove up to 99% of PFAS contaminants, ensuring that your water is free from these harmful chemicals. Most RO systems rely on other filters to create a comprehensive water filtration system, including a second-stage activated carbon filter to effectively remove chlorine that might create a bad odor or taste in your water.
It is important to note that through the process of reverse osmosis, beneficial minerals are stripped from the water as well. However, the overall benefits of removing PFAS outweigh the loss of minerals, and there are remineralization filters available as an add-on stage to most RO systems, which will add essential minerals back into the water after the filtration process.

Ion Exchange Filters

Ion exchange filters are another option for removing forever chemicals from drinking water. These filters use ion exchange resins to remove specific contaminants, including PFAS.
Ion exchange filters can effectively reduce the levels of PFAS in water, although their effectiveness may vary depending on the specific system and brand.
While ion exchange filters can be effective in reducing PFAS levels, it is important to consider their limitations. These filters may not remove all types of PFAS, and regular maintenance is required to ensure their continued effectiveness. However, when appropriately used, these filters can provide a reliable option for removing forever chemicals and ensuring clean and safe drinking water.

Final Verdict

If removing PFAS is your primary water filtration focus, then reverse osmosis systems are likely what you should invest in, as they are highly efficient in permanently removing persistent chemicals and providing a reliable solution for water purification. By examining diverse filtration options and understanding their functionalities, you can proactively address the presence of persistent chemicals and other contaminants in your water. Investing in premium filtration systems such as PureDrop and practicing regular maintenance to ensure a continuous supply of clean and safe drinking water for the long term, will guarantee you enjoy pure, clean drinking water.
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