The Invisible Threat of PFAS and What You Can Do About Them

The Invisible Threat of PFAS and What You Can Do About Them

Imagine pouring yourself a glass of cold refreshing water. You trust that it's healthy, hydrating and free of harmful chemicals. But what if an invisible threat lurked beneath the surface? That's the reality with PFAS, also referred to as “forever chemicals”, a group of man-made substances that are ubiquitous in consumer products and have contaminated water supplies around the world.

What are PFAS and why should you care

PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These synthetic chemicals have been widely used in a variety of products, from nonstick cookware to firefighting foams. They are considered dangerous because they are incredibly resilient, refusing to break down easily in the environment and our bodies, they are hard to contain in our surrounding environment and even at low levels they pose health risks to us.

So, what health risks do PFAS pose? Research suggests potential links to a range of problems, including:

  • Increased risk of cancer: Studies have shown associations between PFAS exposure and several types of cancer, including kidney, testicular and ovarian cancers.
  • Liver damage: PFAS can build up in the liver, potentially leading to fatty liver disease and liver cancer.
  • Thyroid dysfunction: PFAS can interfere with thyroid hormones, leading to conditions like hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's disease.
  • Developmental delays in children: Studies have shown associations between PFAS exposure and low birth weight, reduced immune function and delayed cognitive development in children.

Understanding Forever Chemicals: PFAS Types, Sources & Solutions

PFAS have been an increasing focus in recent years due to their infiltration into our water sources, sparking concern about exposure risk and potential health impacts. In fact, regulatory agencies around the world have now labeled PFAS as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) enabling them to allocate more of their resources to researching these chemicals and their effects. But what exactly are these substances, and what types of PFAS lurk beneath the surface of our water?

The Many Types of PFAS 

PFAS aren't just one chemical, they're a vast family of thousands of manufactured compounds, each with unique properties and potential risks. Understanding these differences is crucial in assessing our exposure and managing potential health concerns. Here are some of the most commonly encountered PFAS in water:

  • PFOA and PFOS: These two "legacy" PFAS were once widely used in industrial and consumer products but have been phased out due to their persistent nature and suspected health risks. However, they still linger in the environment and contaminate many water sources.
  • GenX and HFPO-DA: These are newer generation PFAS developed as substitutes for PFOA and PFOS. While considered less harmful, concerns remain about their long-term health effects and environmental persistence.
  • Short-chain PFAS: These smaller PFAS molecules are also gaining attention. While they might break down faster in the environment, some studies suggest they could still pose health risks.

The Mainy Sources of PFAS in our Everyday Lives

The ubiquity of PFAS is alarming. These chemicals have been found in drinking water supplies across the globe, even in remote areas far from heavy industrial activity. Sources of contamination include:

  • Industrial waste: Factories and manufacturing facilities that used PFAS in their products may have released them into the environment, contaminating nearby water sources.
  • Firefighting foams: PFAS-laden firefighting foams used in training exercises and emergencies can seep into soil and groundwater.
  • Landfills: PFAS-containing products that end up in landfills can leach the chemicals into the surrounding soil and water.
  • Household products: Certain fabrics, carpets and cookware might contain PFAS that can leach into water during use or washing.

Many municipalities are now testing their water supplies for PFAS. You can check your local water authority's website or contact them directly to inquire about PFAS levels in your area.

What can we do about PFAS in our water?

Given the spectrum of dangers from PFAS the natural question to ask is what can be done to limit our exposure. The good news- we have options! Various methods exist for eliminating these forever chemicals from our water, each with unique advantages and drawbacks. Examples of at-home filtration options include:

  • Activated Carbon Filtration: Activated carbon can effectively remove PFAS from water by adsorbing those and other contaminants onto the surface of a filter. Unfortunately, activated carbon filters can also provide a breeding ground for undesirable microorganisms.
  • Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs): AOPs, such as UV light and ozone treatment, can break down PFAS compounds. However, these processes may require additional treatment steps to fully remove PFAS and other contaminants.
  • Ceramic filtration: High-quality ceramic filters effectively remove a range of PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS, and many other contaminants from water. Importantly, these filters offer a sustainable and potentially longer-lasting alternative to more traditional filters.
  • Ion Exchange Resins: Ion exchange involves replacing PFAS ions in water with other ions that are bound to a resin. This method can be effective, but regeneration and disposal of the used resin can be a concern, and these filters do not remove microorganisms.
  • Reverse Osmosis: Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective in removing a wide range of contaminants, including PFAS. They use a semipermeable membrane to filter out impurities; however, reverse osmosis systems waste  much more water than other types of filtration.

Introducing Lilli: Your all-in-one intelligent hydration system 

With a heightened awareness of the hazards associated with PFAS, wouldn't it be beneficial to have a system that thoroughly filters those and other contaminants from your water? That's where Lilli comes in; the system's advanced ceramic filters effectively remove those “forever chemicals” and a wide range of other contaminants including microorganisms, heavy metals and industrial compounds.

But beyond its state-of-the-art filtration, Lilli also offers a broad array of features in one advanced system:

  • Seamless connectivity: A smart system that allows you to monitor your water consumption, personalize your water preferences and even integrate with other health and wellness apps.
  • Convenient nutrient delivery: Add custom vitamin blends and supplements directly to your water for a personalized boost of nutrition.
  • Precise temperature control: Enjoy water at your preferred temperature, from ice-cold to steaming hot.
  • Flexible pH adjustment: Lilli's filters allow you to adjust the pH of your water from 7.0 to 9.5
  • Dynamic carbonation control: Tailor your water's fizz level, from still to sparkling, to suit your taste.

With Lilli, you can rest assured that your water is not only free of harmful contaminants like PFAS but also perfectly personalized to your unique needs and preferences.

Final Thoughts

From industrial discharges to household products, the shadow of PFAS contamination looms large, infiltrating our water sources and sparking concern about their potential health impacts.  Studies hint at unsettling connections between PFAS exposure and increased cancer risk, thyroid problems, immune system issues and even reproductive concerns. Thus, water filtration has become a critical part of ensuring our water is clean and free of harmful contaminants.

Lilli's advanced filtration stands as a shield against the invisible threat of PFAS and other common water contaminants. But Lilli isn't just a water filtration system, it's a path toward healthier, more personalized hydration and a more sustainable future. This innovative technology empowers us to reclaim control over our hydration, providing crystal-clear water and peace of mind.

Let's work together to create a world where safe, refreshing water is available to everyone. Click here for more information on the Lilli System

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