Water News – Michigan in State of Emergency now over PFOA Contamination
State officials declared a state of emergency for Kalamazoo County after it was found to have more than 20 times the EPA’s Health Advisory for PFOA.
Warnings have been issued to residents not to drink, cook or mix baby formula with the tap water.
What is PFOA?
PFOA is the abbreviation for Perfluorooctanoic Acid, a chemical ingredient in the non-stick coating used to make Teflon.
PFOA is a particularly toxic compound with an incredibly low legal limit of just 70 parts per trillion. Not parts per million, or even parts per billion, but parts per TRILLION. It is toxic in incredibly small concentrations and scientists worry about the body’s ability to rid itself of PFOA it once someone has been exposed.
PFOA is listed as a probable carcinogen with links to Kidney Cancer, Reproductive Cancers, Thyroid Disease, High Cholesterol and complications during pregnancy. However, knowledge of PFOA is new and relatively limited. Current research on how it affects human health is still ongoing.
PFOA is listed as a probable carcinogen with links to Kidney Cancer, Reproductive Cancers, Thyroid Disease, High Cholesterol and complications during pregnancy.
Studies on the US population found that 98% of Americans have measurable amounts of PFOA in their blood (link). And despite the known toxicity of PFOA, there is still no federal legal limit for the chemical.
According to the article by CNN, “In June, the the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, released a draft report that recommended that PFAS and the related family of chemicals, be much lower. The 800-plus page report determined that current EPA suggested limits are up to 10 times higher than they should be.” (Emphasis added by us)
One problem, many names
You may have seen the acronyms PFOA, PFOS or PFC’s used and wondered what the difference is between them. Below is a quick-reference guide which shows just some of the more common names and what they stand for.
PFC’s (Perfluorinated Chemicals) – Refers to the group of chemicals as a category
PFAS (Perfluorinated Alkylated Substances) – Refers to the same thing as PFC’s
PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) – ingredient in the manufacture of Teflon
PFOS (Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) – ingredient in the manufacture of Scotchguard
PFC’s and PFAS refer to the group of chemicals as a whole. Whereas PFOA and PFOS are the more specific contaminants that we are concerned about in our drinking water.
What does Clearly Filtered do against PFOA's?
We have tested both our Water Pitcher as well as our Under Sink Filtration System for PFOA removal.
Our pitcher removes 98-99.6% over 100 Gallons. Our testing was performed at concentrations up to 1,000 times greater than the EPA's Health Advisory Limit. To view the Pitcher Testing Report click here: Water Pitcher Test Report
Our Under Sink Filtration System removes PFOA's by up to 99.9% for 2,000 gallons. To see the Under Sink System Test Report click here: Under Sink Test Report
What concentration does Clearly Filtered Test at for PFOA?
0.00007 EPA Health Limit
0.0014 Michigan Tap Water
2.03 Clearly Filtered Water Test (more than 1000x the concentration found in Michigan)
See the table below for the actual testing data performed for PFOA:
Do most filters remove PFOA?
No, the filters you find in most retail stores are not tested to remove PFOA. Be sure to look at the claims and testing data of any filter before you purchase it to make sure that it removes the contaminants you are concerned about. Don’t assume it will without testing!
Click here to get a PFOA/PFOS certified water filter to protect you and your family.