Harmful PFAS in drinking water and what it means for you.
PFAS in Burlington, Davenport and Keokuk drinking water
PFAS contamination has been detected in Burlington, Davenport and Keokuk — three Iowa cities that draw their drinking water from the Mississippi River.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals used to make common household nonstick, water repellent, and stain resistant products — like carpet, clothing, furniture fabric, food packaging and cookware.
PFAS contamination of drinking water usually occurs locally, near a facility where PFAS or products using them are manufactured, as well as around airfields where these chemicals are used to extinguish fires.
Tests conducted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources revealed a combined concentration of fewer than 10 parts per trillion of PFAs, which is well below the current federal advisory levels. However, it was the first time DNR tests found the chemicals in notable concentrations in a major river. In the communities of Burlington, Davenport and Keokuk, this contaminated drinking water reaches more than 183,000 residents.
The EPA has established the combined PFAS health advisory level at 70 parts per trillion. Because this is only an advisory level, enforcement is not mandatory. Public water systems are not required to test for PFAS and many do not.
Adverse effects related to PFAS
- Birth defects and developmental issues during pregnancy or for breastfed infants — including low birth weight, accelerated puberty and skeletal formation issues
- Cancer (testicular and kidney)
- Liver tissue damage
- Weakened immune system (antibody production and compromised immunity)
- Thyroid hormone imbalances
- Hypertension and high cholesterol
Bioaccumulation is a concern for PFAS. The chemicals can build up in the body over time so even small, but persistent doses can be dangerous. Adverse effects include:
Water filtration solutions for PFAS
Public water systems are required to notify consumers if their water is known to be contaminated with PFAS. Consumers can also contact their local water supplier and ask for information on PFAS in their drinking water.
The Culligan® Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with a Total Defense Cartridge has been tested in laboratory and field applications by the Minnesota Department of Health and Water Quality Association and found to reduce PFAS in drinking water.
In addition, the Culligan® Whole Home System with dual carbon filters has been installed in over 300 homes and is proven to reduce PFAS in well water.
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Culligan has custom solutions to reduce dangerous PFAS. Water treatment solutions for PFAS include:
RO Drinking Water Systems