In this article, you’ll learn all about the harmful effects of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on water contamination. All compounds containing these types of chemicals have been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, so it’s important that government agencies and consumers are more aware.
What could be causing the Pfas contamination in our water?
On the heels of a report from the Environmental Working Group linking the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) to cancer, concerns abound about water contamination with this and other polyfluorinated substances (PFsAS). Here’s what we know so far: PFASs are man-made chemicals used in manufacturing and as insulating coatings for products such as food containers and military uniforms. Exposure to high levels of PFAS can cause cancer, reproductive abnormalities, disabilities, and more. And while scientists are still working to understand all of the potential health effects of PFAS exposure, there is enough concern that some countries are developing bans on manufacture and consumption plans.
The EWG report links PFOA specifically to cancer in humans. However, research has shown that PFASs can adversely affect a variety of organ systems in both animals and humans. In fact, a recent study published in Environmental Science & Technology found that PFASs can disrupt endocrine function—which could lead to cancer growth. It’s important to note that this study was conducted with mice, so it’s difficult to say whether or not PFASs will have the same effects in humans. But given that these chemicals affect testosterone levels, it’s important to consider any potential long-term health impacts on humans. Additionally, recent research suggests that even low doses of these chemicals are harmful at certain thresholds.
What are the potential short and long-term effects of PFAS?
Exposure to PFAS in drinking water can have a range of short and long-term health issues. Short-term effects can include: water contamination, illness, irritability, impaired cognitive function, and cancer. In some cases, long-term effects can result in abnormalities in the reproductive system or other serious health problems. Water contamination has been identified as an important short-term effect of PFAS exposure and affects the impaired development, health, and survival of aquatic organisms. It is widely accepted that pfas in water can disturb organisms’ hormone systems, stop their reproductive cycles, and prevent them from developing properly. Some animals have demonstrated decreased egg production or injury to their gonads when exposed to PFAS chemicals at relatively low levels of exposure for a short period of time. Pregnant female fish exposed via water contamination experienced fetal abnormalities and malformation of male offspring in some studies conducted on reproduction. A large number of animals showed evidence of negative endocrine-disrupting effects at lower doses than those used in chronic toxicity tests due to non-targeted toxin action. Other animal studies have shown subtle, systematic changes in reproductive and developmental fate leading to neutral outcomes that are hard to attribute causality to from a human health perspective. Human studies also yield notable variation due to genetic, lifestyle and population differences in body size, dose levels and study design. However, tentative results for other developing primates do not support concern about linkages with fertility or development.
How do I avoid drinking contaminated water with my kids?
When it comes to drinking water, many people feel confident that they are doing the right thing by using tap water. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are a number of factors that can affect the quality of the water we drink, and one of these is Pfas.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the contamination of water sources can vary depending on location and time of year. However, some tips to avoid drinking contaminated water with your children include:
- Check the water quality before you bring it to your lips. Use a filter if necessary.
- Filter or boil water if it appears to be contaminated. Alternatively, you could install a water treatment system if you live in an affected area.
- Be aware of potential warning signs and stay alert for changes in your water source such as an increase in turbidity or smell. If you do detect contamination, don’t drink the water and contact your local health department immediately.
Pfas, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), are a group of chemicals that are widely used in homes and businesses around the world. They have been linked to cancer in multiple studies, and scientists are still trying to understand all the ways these chemicals can damage our health. In this article, we will take a look at what Pfas is, how it is made, and why it has been associated with cancer. We will also explain some simple steps you can take to reduce your exposure to this dangerous chemical.