Your drinking water might be contaminated without your knowledge.
Harvard researchers have identified dangerous compounds in the PFAS class in the drinking water of 6 million Americans. These chemicals, including polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl, have been used in clothing, nonstick cookware and food wrappers for six decades. Even those that are no longer being used in industrial processes persist in the environment and find their way into groundwater.
What Did the Chemists Find?
The scientists analyzed 36,000 water samples collected by the EPA between 2013 and 2015, looking for six different kinds of PFAS. This is not a comprehensive study of American drinking water, since many wells were not included.
High Levels of PFAS:
In 66 of the public water supplies in the study (each represented by a number of water samples), PFAS levels were at or above 70 parts per trillion. That is considered the safe upper limit for exposure.
In most cases, the drinking water is drawn from sources near military bases, industrial sites or wastewater treatment plants. These may be where the PFAS compounds came from when they got into the water. These agents have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, immune disorders, high cholesterol and hormone disruption.