by Michelle Talsma Everson
Experts weigh in on PFAS, their health risks, and what can be done to avoid them
"PFAS are a group of human-made chemicals that have been used to make things waterproof, non-stick, or stain resistant," explains Riggs Eckelberry, a top national water expert and founder/CEO of OriginClear, described as a "Clean Water Information Hub that develops projects to solve America's water problems."
"Think Teflon, fire-fighting foams, varnishes — things you don't want to be consuming," he continues. "These chemicals are very long lasting by design and can persist in the environment for thousands of years — hence the term 'forever chemicals.'"
"Because of their persistent nature, they can build up in our bodies and negatively impact our health," Eckelberry says. "According to the EPA, exposure to PFAS can impact reproductive health, cause developmental delays in children, increase certain cancer risks, reduce immune system function, impact hormones, and even increase cholesterol."
"We can be exposed to PFAS in a number of ways, including food packaging, personal care products and even our public drinking water," Eckelberry says. "This is why I highly recommend having a water filtration system minimally at your kitchen tap to help prevent exposure to these and other chemicals that can be found in our water supply. The reality is that industry is the prime culprit, and they need to keep us all safe by finding better, safer technology and by taking care of the water right where it's polluted, so that it never gets in our water supply or soil in the first place. This is something we should make noise about."