PFAS contamination is nearly ubiquitous these days. PFAS can be found in consumer products and consumer packaging. PFAS are also found in the majority of water systems at levels exceeding EPA’s newly released health advisory.
Contact Your Water Provider
Since the EPA has determined that nearly any detectable amount of PFAS in drinking water is a health risk, people should contact their water providers to determine whether they are testing for PFAS and the results of any such PFAS testing. Many water providers are required by statute to post their sampling results online.
If you are on a private well, test your water for PFAS. Having a sample analyzed costs around $300, but some states offer programs that assist with or cover these costs. Contact your local environmental protection agency to see if you qualify.
Purchase a Filter
If you determine that your drinking water contains detectable amounts of PFAS, purchase an NSF-CERTIFIED filter, preferably one that reduces PFOA/PFOS below one part per trillion. A whole house filter is best as it eliminates PFAS from water used for showering and bathing as well as drinking water. However, the priority should be to eliminate PFAS at faucets where you get your drinking water if a whole house filter is out of your budget.
Check Your Consumer Products
Switching your old non-stick cookware to ceramic coated or stainless-steel can reduce your exposure to PFAS. Check your cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning products, and paints to determine whether they contain PFAS. Eliminating PFAS containing consumer products from your daily routine will help reduce your exposure to PFAS.
Reduce Your Fast-Food Consumption
As we detailed previously, Consumer Reports discovered that many fast-food operators use direct contact packaging which contains PFAS. PFAS can leech from this packaging into the food within particularly when the food is hot and greasy. While Consumer Reports found that some operators were phasing out PFAS packaging, the reliability of company proclamations is suspect at this point. Reducing your consumption of food contained in PFAS packaging will reduce your exposure to PFAS.
Be Conscious of Your Outdoor Recreation
Just as PFAS can be found in a substantial number of drinking water sources, it is also found in many public water bodies. When people swim or recreate in contaminated water bodies, they are exposed to PFAS through skin contact as well as ingestion. Foam found along lake shores and river banks often contain very high concentrations of PFAS and should always be avoided.
Be Conscious of Sourcing Seafood
Due to extensive nationwide water body contamination, fish, shellfish, and wild game consume PFAS and become contaminated. Eating fish and shellfish from a contaminated water body will expose you to PFAS. Check to ensure you seafood comes from clean water reduce PFAS exposure.
Get Your Blood Tested
Nearly everyone in the US has some level of PFAS in their blood. If you are experiencing health issues and suspect PFAS contamination as a potential source, get your blood tested. Blood work from a certified lab typically costs from $300-600. Talk to your physician about your PFAS concerns to potentially have testing covered by insurance.