Ensia discusses PFAS CHEMICALS ARE TURNING UP IN TAP WATER ACROSS THE COUNTRY. HOW DO WE GET THEM OUT? Removing “forever” chemicals from drinking water is not an easy task.
This piece was expanded and updated from an original report in the Dayton [Ohio] Daily News published in June 2020. This story is part of a nine-month investigation of drinking water contamination across the U.S. The series is supported by funding from the Park Foundation and Water Foundation. Read the launch story, “Thirsting for Solutions,” here.
A group of manmade substances that can cause serious health problems in humans and animals is increasingly threatening U.S. drinking water systems, experts say. Scientists are working hard to better understand per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances — or PFAS — and develop technologies to minimize harm from these extraordinarily durable pollutants.
PFAS is the umbrella term for a variety of substances, including PFOA, PFOS and GenX. Exposure to high levels of PFAS may decrease vaccine response in children and cause some forms of cancer and birth defects. PFAS also affect the kidneys, liver and immune system, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.