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Let’s raise a glass to PFAS-free water!

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Written by: Alexa Stone

The benefits of PFAS-coated and infused products are seen in households across the USA. Eggs no longer stick to cookware. Summer t-shirts can be waterproof, and sofa covers repel stains.

PFAS brings further value outside the home. The electronics industry relies on PFAS for heat-resistant cables and circuit boards. In your community, firefighters save lives and structures using PFAS foams, which quickly cut oxygen from a fire, extinguish it, and keep it from relighting.

However, PFAS coatings, sprays, and foams have their drawbacks. After years of use in cooking, washing, and community runoff, they are now measurable in drinking water. They are toxic. Their widespread use and persistence in the environment make them a pressing global concern.

WHAT ARE PFAS?

About 12,000 different Per-And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are used in various consumer products and industrial processes. Most PFAS won’t break down in the environment for thousands of years. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to limit the quantity of those all-too-persistent chemicals. This month, they published the first national drinking water standard to limit PFAS exposure. The rule is a key EPA strategy to prevent deaths and illnesses, benefitting approximately 100 million people.

FINDING ALTERNATIVES

PFAS are forever toxic, but always replaceable. If you don’t want to cook on a PFAS surface, look for nonstick ceramic, carbon steel, or cast aluminum cookware with ceramic coating. When shopping for clothing or furniture that repels water and resists stains, check labels for organic cotton or silicone-based finishes. Recently, airports, communities, and military organizations have chosen foams that are based on silicone or organic compounds like octanol. The foams protect firefighter and public health while suppressing flames.

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